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Courts Act 2003

The criminal courts

164.The Government recognised in the White Paper, Justice for All, that the benefits the Auld Review identified from a fully unified criminal court could be realised through closer alignment of the criminal courts. This could be achieved without a complete re-ordering of the courts system or the introduction of an “intermediate tier”.

165.The White Paper announced that the Government would legislate to bring the magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court closer together and that these courts, when exercising their criminal jurisdiction, would be known as “the criminal courts”. This part of the Act addresses this change.

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