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Courts Act 2003

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27Justices' clerks and assistant clerksE+W

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)A justices' clerk is a person who is—

(a)appointed by the Lord Chancellor under section 2(1), and

(b)designated by the Lord Chancellor [F1, after consulting the Lord Chief Justice,] as a justices' clerk.

(2)A person may be designated as a justices' clerk only if he—

(a)has a 5 year magistrates' court qualification,

(b)is a barrister or solicitor who has served for not less than 5 years as an assistant to a justices' clerk, or

(c)has previously been a justices' clerk.

(3)The Lord Chancellor—

(a)must [F2, after consulting the Lord Chief Justice,] assign each justices' clerk to one or more local justice areas, and

(b)subject to [F3subsections (4A) to (4C)] , may change an assignment so as to assign the justices' clerk to a different local justice area or to different local justice areas.

[F4(4A)The Lord Chancellor may change an assignment of a justices' clerk so that he is no longer assigned to a local justice area (“the relevant area”) only if the conditions in subsections (4B) and (4C) are met.

(4B)Before changing the assignment, the Lord Chancellor must consult—

(a)the chairman of the lay justices assigned to the relevant area, or

(b)if that is not possible or not practicable, the deputy chairman or such of the lay justices assigned to or acting in the relevant area as it appears to the Lord Chancellor appropriate to consult.

(4C)The Lord Chief Justice must agree to the change.]

(5)An assistant to a justices' clerk is a person who is—

(a)appointed by the Lord Chancellor under section 2(1) or provided under a contract made by virtue of section 2(4), and

(b)designated by the Lord Chancellor as an assistant to a justices' clerk.

(6)The Lord Chancellor may by regulations provide that, subject to such exceptions as may be prescribed by the regulations, a person may be designated as an assistant to a justices' clerk only if he—

(a)has a 5 year magistrates' court qualification, or

(b)has such qualifications as may be prescribed by, or approved by the Lord Chancellor in accordance with, the regulations.

[F5(6A)The Lord Chief Justice may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under this section.]

(7)In this Part “assistant clerk” is short for “assistant to a justices' clerk”.

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