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Courts Act 2003

Provisions relating to Northern Ireland

Section 102: Power to alter judicial titles: Northern Ireland

370.This section provides the Lord Chancellor with a power to amend the judicial titles listed (the list encompasses all of the judicial titles in the Supreme Court and county courts in Northern Ireland) in the future should the need arise. Some titles may need modernisation, to make them more helpfully explanatory to court users. The acceptance commanded by titles containing a presumption of male gender might also change. Such orders may only be made following consultation with the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. Section 64 makes similar provision for England and Wales.

Section 103: Official Solicitor of Northern Ireland

371.This section removes the post of Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court in Northern Ireland from the list of statutory offices in Schedule 3 to the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 as all the other statutory officers exercise judicial functions. This section specifies the amendments to section 75 of the J(NI)A 1978 that relate to the position and further to this, now allows barristers as well as solicitors to be appointed as the Official Solicitor of Northern Ireland.

Section 104: Alteration of place fixed for Crown Court trial: Northern Ireland

372.This section amends the J(NI)A 1978 to provide that an application for variation of the place fixed for Crown Court trial no longer needs to be heard in open court.

Section 105: Extension of time for criminal appeals to House of Lords: Northern Ireland

373.Section 105 amends the J(NI)A 1978 and the Criminal Appeal (Northern Ireland) Act 1980 to extend, from 14 days to 28 days, the time within which applications may be made for leave to appeal to the House of Lords.

Section 106: Fees: Northern Ireland

374.This section provides for the insertion of a new subsection (1A) into section 116 of the J(NI)A 1978. Section 116(1) of the 1978 Act provides for the Lord Chancellor, after consultation with the Lord Chief Justice and the Treasury, to fix the fees to be taken in the Northern Ireland courts and the Enforcement of Judgments Office.

375.The effect of the new subsection will be to allow any order fixing fees to provide for the exemption from, or full or partial remission of, those fees.

Part 9: Final Provisions.Summary

376.Part 9 contains minor definitions and qualifications referred to in the Act, and states the parliamentary scrutiny to be employed for sections allowing the Lord Chancellor to make rules, regulations and orders. This part also provides for the enactment of the transitional and saving, consequential and repeal Schedules of the Act and states that provisions in the Courts Act extend only to England and Wales, subject to a few exceptions. Part 9 allows the Lord Chancellor to make transitional and consequential provisions by order and also contains the short title of the Act.

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