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Courts Act 2003

Criminal jurisdiction and procedure

95.Sections 1 and 2 of the MCA 1980 are the basic jurisdictional provisions for criminal cases. The two essential propositions are that justices have jurisdiction to issue summonses and warrants in respect of offences committed in their commission area and offences committed by people who live in their commission area (section 1), and that they have jurisdiction to try offences committed in their commission area (section 2). These provisions are altered to reflect the fact that under the Act lay magistrates will have national jurisdiction. The result of this will be that any justice will have jurisdiction to issue a summons or warrant, and any magistrates’ court will have jurisdiction to try offences, regardless of where the offence was committed.

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