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Courts Act 2003

Family proceedings courts and youth courts

103.Family proceedings and criminal cases with youth defendants are specialist jurisdictions, for which a magistrate must have a particular authorisation. The current authorisation system depends on local “panels”, membership of which is based on commission areas, and which are elected in most areas of the country. The Act provides for a personal authorisation system to replace panel membership, and a rule-making power allowing the Lord Chancellor to propose consistent national rules as to how authorisation will work. This is consistent with the abolition of commission areas, and the extension of a national jurisdiction to magistrates.

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