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Courts Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Courts boards

4Establishment of courts boards

(1)England and Wales is to be divided into areas for each of which there is to be a courts board.

(2)The areas are to be those specified by an order made by the Lord Chancellor.

(3)Each area established by an order under subsection (2) is to be known by such name as is specified in the order (but subject to subsection (4)).

(4)The Lord Chancellor may make orders altering the areas.

(5)“Altering”, in relation to an area, includes (as well as changing its boundaries)—

(a)combining it with one or more other areas,

(b)dividing it between two or more other areas, and

(c)changing its name.

(6)Before making an order under subsection (4), the Lord Chancellor must consult any courts board affected by the proposed order.

(7)When making an order under subsection (2) the Lord Chancellor must have regard to the desirability of specifying areas which are the same as—

(a)the police areas listed in Schedule 1 to the Police Act 1996 (c. 16) (division of England and Wales, except London, into police areas), and

(b)the area consisting of the Metropolitan Police District and the City of London police area.

(8)Schedule 1 contains provisions about the constitution and procedure of courts boards.

5Functions of courts boards

(1)Each courts board is under a duty, in accordance with guidance under this section—

(a)to scrutinise, review and make recommendations about the way in which the Lord Chancellor is discharging his general duty in relation to the courts with which the board is concerned, and

(b)for the purposes mentioned in paragraph (a), to consider draft and final business plans relating to those courts.

(2)In discharging his general duty in relation to the courts, the Lord Chancellor must give due consideration to recommendations made by the boards under subsection (1).

(3)If the Lord Chancellor rejects a recommendation made by a courts board under subsection (1) as a result of the board’s consideration of a final business plan, he must give the board his written reasons for so doing.

(4)The courts with which a courts board is concerned are—

(a)the Crown Court,

(b)county courts, and

(c)magistrates' courts,

in the board’s area.

(5)The Lord Chancellor must prepare and issue the boards with guidance about how they should carry out their functions under subsection (1).

(6)The guidance may in particular contain provisions about the procedures to be followed in connection with draft and final business plans.

(7)The Lord Chancellor may from time to time issue the boards with revised guidance and revoke previous guidance.

(8)Guidance issued under this section must be laid before both Houses of Parliament.

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