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Courts Act 2003

Courts boards

Section 4: Establishment of courts boards

18.Section 4 requires the Lord Chancellor to set up courts boards (the functions of which are set out in section 5). The section obliges the Lord Chancellor to define the geographical area for which they are responsible by order. It obliges him, in defining the areas, to have regard to the desirability of ensuring coterminosity with CJS areas, which are based on areas defined in the Police Act 1996. It provides that the names of each courts board area will be specified in the order. It allows the Lord Chancellor to make orders altering the areas, but it requires that the Lord Chancellor consult an affected courts board before an amending order is made. It provides for a Schedule that sets out the constitution and procedure of courts boards, including the categories of membership of the courts boards.

Schedule1: Constitution and Procedure of courts boards

19.This Schedule provides for the constitution and procedure of courts boards. Members are to be appointed by the Lord Chancellor. Minimum membership will consist of at least one judge; at least two lay magistrates; at least two other members who appear to have knowledge or experience of the work of the courts in the area; and at least two members who appear to be representative of local people in the area. It provides for regulations to be made by the Lord Chancellor in relation to the appointment of members, in particular the appointments procedure; the selection of a chairman from among the board members; the term of office of board members and their resignation, suspension or removal; the procedure of boards, including quorum; and the validation of proceedings in the event of removal, a vacancy or defect in appointment.

20.This Schedule also enables the Lord Chancellor to make payments in respect of expenses and remuneration.

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