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Courts Act 2003

Protection and indemnification of justices and justices’ clerks

Section 34: Costs in legal proceedings

86.Section 34 makes similar provision to section 53A of the JPA 1997, with minor amendments. This section gives justices of the peace and their clerks statutory immunity against being ordered to pay the costs of legal actions arising out of the conduct of their judicial functions, unless it is proved that they acted in bad faith.  The section empowers the court to order the Lord Chancellor to pay any costs that, but for the provision of the section, it would have ordered against the justice or clerk. The section also provides for the Lord Chancellor to make regulations covering when the court is to exercise the power to award costs and how those costs are to be determined.

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