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Courts Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

30Places, dates and times of sittings

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The Lord Chancellor may give directions as to the places in England and Wales at which magistrates' courts may sit.

(2)In exercising his powers under subsection (1), the Lord Chancellor shall have regard to the need to ensure that court-houses are accessible to persons resident in each local justice area.

(3)The Lord Chancellor may, with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice, give directions as to the distribution and transfer of the general business of magistrates' courts between the places specified in directions under subsection (1).

(4)Directions under subsection (3) may, in particular, contain provision that, where a person is charged with an offence and is being required to appear before a magistrates' court, the place where he is required to appear is one of the places described in subsection (5).

(5)The places are—

(a)a place in the local justice area in which the offence is alleged to have been committed;

(b)a place in the local justice area in which the person charged with the offence resides;

(c)a place in the local justice area in which the witnesses, or the majority of the witnesses, reside;

(d)a place where other cases raising similar issues are being dealt with.

(6)“The general business of magistrates' courts” does not include family proceedings (as defined in section 65 of the 1980 Act).

(7)The Lord Chancellor may give directions as to the days on which and times at which magistrates' courts may sit.

(8)Subject to any directions under subsection (7), the business of magistrates' courts may be conducted on any day and at any time.

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