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Courts Act 2003

Designated officers and magistrates’ courts

37.Currently each MCC must appoint a JCE with the approval of the Lord Chancellor, to manage the magistrates’ courts in its area. The primary function of JCEs is to make arrangements for the efficient and effective administration of the magistrates’ courts. JCEs must perform all of their statutory duties in accordance with directions given by the relevant MCC.

38.JCEs are responsible for a wide range of administrative matters. Section 90 of the Access to Justice Act 1999 (AJA 1999) amended a large number of earlier Acts so as to transfer to JCEs administrative functions previously assigned to justices’ clerks. As there will be no equivalent statutory post to the JCE in the new courts agency, this Act provides for former JCE functions to be carried out by an officer designated by the Lord Chancellor.

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