Search Legislation

Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015

What Version

 Help about what version

Advanced Features

 Help about advanced features

Changes to legislation:

There are currently no known outstanding effects for the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, Section 48. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. At the current time any known changes or effects made by subsequent legislation have been applied to the text of the legislation you are viewing by the editorial team. Please see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for details regarding the timescales for which new effects are identified and recorded on this site.

48Trial by single justice on the papersE+W+S+N.I.

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 is amended as follows.

(2)In section 11 (non-appearance of accused: general provisions)—

(a)in subsection (1), for “and (4)” substitute “ , (4) and (8) ”, and

(b)after subsection (7) insert—

(8)This section and sections 12 to 16 do not apply if and for so long as a written charge is to be tried by a magistrates' court in accordance with section 16A.

(3)After section 16 insert—

Trial by single justice on the papersE+W+S+N.I.
16ATrial by single justice on the papers

(1)A magistrates' court may try a written charge in accordance with subsections (3) to (10) if—

(a)the offence charged is a summary offence not punishable with imprisonment,

(b)the accused had attained the age of 18 years when charged,

(c)the court is satisfied that—

(i)the documents specified in subsection (2) have been served on the accused, and

(ii)service of all of the documents was effected at the same time, and

(d)the accused has not served on the designated officer specified in the single justice procedure notice, within the period prescribed by Criminal Procedure Rules, a written notification stating either—

(i)a desire to plead not guilty, or

(ii)a desire not to be tried in accordance with this section.

(2)The documents mentioned in subsection (1)(c) are—

(a)a written charge and a single justice procedure notice (see section 29 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003), and

(b)such other documents as may be prescribed by Criminal Procedure Rules (see section 29(3B) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003).

(3)The court may not hear any oral evidence and may consider only the contents of the following—

(a)the documents specified in subsection (2),

(b)any document containing information to which subsection (4) applies, and

(c)any written submission that the accused makes with a view to mitigation of sentence.

(4)This subsection applies to information if—

(a)a notice describing the information was served on the accused at the same time as the documents specified in subsection (2), and

(b)a copy of the notice has been served on the designated officer specified in the single justice procedure notice.

(5)The court may disregard a written submission that is not served on the designated officer specified in the single justice procedure notice within the period prescribed by Criminal Procedure Rules.

(6)The court is not required to conduct any part of the proceedings in open court.

(7)The court may try the charge in the absence of the parties and, if a party appears, must proceed as if the party were absent.

(8)If the accused served on the designated officer specified in the notice a written notification stating a desire to plead guilty and to be tried in accordance with this section, the court may try the charge as if the accused had pleaded guilty.

(9)The court may not remand the accused.

(10)If the resumed trial is to be conducted in accordance with subsections (3) to (9), no notice is required of the resumption of the trial after an adjournment.

(11)A magistrates' court acting under this section may be composed of a single justice.

(12)Any magistrates' court may try a written charge in accordance with subsections (3) to (10), whether or not its designated officer is specified in the single justice procedure notice.

(13)Subsection (1) is subject to sections 16B and 16C.

16BCases not tried in accordance with section 16A

(1)If a magistrates' court decides, before the accused is convicted of the offence, that it is not appropriate to convict the accused in proceedings conducted in accordance with section 16A, the court may not try or continue to try the charge in that way.

(2)A magistrates' court may not try a written charge in accordance with section 16A if, at any time before the trial, the accused or the accused's legal representative on the accused's behalf gives notice to the designated officer specified in the single justice procedure notice that the accused does not desire to be tried in accordance with section 16A.

(3)If a magistrates' court may not try or continue to try a written charge in accordance with section 16A because the conditions in section 16A(1) are not satisfied or because of subsection (1) or (2), the magistrates' court dealing with the matter must—

(a)adjourn the trial, if it has begun, and

(b)issue a summons directed to the accused requiring the accused to appear before a magistrates' court for the trial of the written charge.

(4)A magistrates' court issuing a summons under subsection (3)(b) may be composed of a single justice.

16CCases that cease to be tried in accordance with section 16A

(1)If a magistrates' court decides, after the accused is convicted of the offence, that it is not appropriate to try the written charge in accordance with section 16A, the court may not continue to try the charge in that way.

(2)If a magistrates' court trying a written charge in accordance with section 16A proposes, after the accused is convicted of the offence, to order the accused to be disqualified under section 34 or 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988—

(a)the court must give the accused the opportunity to make representations or further representations about the proposed disqualification, and

(b)if the accused indicates a wish to make such representations, the court may not continue to try the case in accordance with section 16A.

(3)If a magistrates' court may not continue to try a written charge in accordance with section 16A because of subsection (1) or (2), the magistrates' court must—

(a)adjourn the trial, and

(b)issue a summons directed to the accused requiring the accused to appear before a magistrates' court to be dealt with in respect of the offence.

16DSections 16B and 16C: further provision

(1)If a summons is issued under section 16B(3)(b) or 16C(3)(b), a reference in sections 11 to 13 to a summons issued under section 1 is to be read, for the purposes of subsequent proceedings as regards the matter, as if it included a reference to a summons issued under section 16B(3)(b) or 16C(3)(b) (as the case may be).

(2)If a summons has been issued under section 16B(3)(b) or 16C(3)(b), a justice of the peace may issue a summons directed to the accused requiring the accused to appear before a magistrates' court for the purpose specified in the earlier summons; and subsection (1) applies in relation to a summons under this section as it applies in relation to a summons under section 16B(3)(b) or 16C(3)(b).

(3)Where a summons has been issued under section 16B(3)(b) or 16C(3)(b), a magistrates' court that afterwards tries the written charge or deals with the accused for the offence must be—

(a)composed as described in section 121(1), or

(b)composed of a District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) sitting alone by virtue of section 26 of the Courts Act 2003.

(4)Where—

(a)the accused is convicted of an offence before a matter is adjourned under section 16C(3)(a), and

(b)the matter is tried after the adjournment by another magistrates' court,

that other magistrates' court is to be treated as if it were the court that convicted the accused for the purposes of section 142(2).

16EAccused not aware of single justice procedure notice

(1)This section applies if—

(a)a single justice procedure notice has been issued, and

(b)the written charge is being tried, or has been tried, in accordance with section 16A.

(2)This section does not apply if the trial of the written charge has been adjourned under section 16B(3)(a) or 16C(3)(a).

(3)The proceedings subsequent to the single justice procedure notice are void if—

(a)the accused makes a statutory declaration that the accused did not know of the single justice procedure notice or the proceedings until a date that the accused specifies in the statutory declaration,

(b)that date is a date after a magistrates' court began to try the written charge,

(c)the declaration is served on the designated officer specified in the single justice procedure notice within 21 days of that date in such manner as Criminal Procedure Rules may prescribe, and

(d)at the same time as serving the declaration, the accused responds to the single justice procedure notice by serving a written notification on that designated officer.

(4)Subsection (3) does not affect the validity of a written charge or a single justice procedure notice.

(5)A magistrates' court may accept service of a statutory declaration required by subsection (3) after the period described in subsection (3)(c) if, on application by the accused, it appears to the court that it was not reasonable to expect the accused to serve that statutory declaration within that period.

(6)A magistrates' court that accepts a statutory declaration under subsection (5) is to be treated as accepting service of a written notification that is served at the same time.

(7)A statutory declaration accepted under subsection (5) and a written notification treated as accepted under subsection (6) are to be treated as having been served as required by subsection (3).

(8)If proceedings have become void under subsection (3), the reference in section 16A to the period within which a written notification must be served is to be read as referring to a period that ends on—

(a)the date on which a written notification is served under subsection (3)(d), or

(b)if a magistrates' court is treated as accepting service of a written notification by virtue of subsection (6), the date on which the written notification is so treated as accepted.

(9)If proceedings have become void under subsection (3), the written charge may not be tried again by any of the same justices.

(10)A magistrates' court carrying out functions under subsection (5) may be composed of a single justice.

16FAdmissibility of statements

(1)A statement contained in a document is admissible in proceedings conducted in accordance with section 16A as evidence of a matter stated if, in the particular case—

(a)the document is one in relation to which section 16A(1)(c) is satisfied, or

(b)section 16A(4) applies to the information in that document (as the case may be).

(2)Subsection (1) does not prevent a court taking into consideration the nature of the evidence placed before it when deciding whether it is appropriate to try the written charge in accordance with section 16A.

(3)In this section “statement” means any representation of fact or opinion.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I1S. 48 in force at 13.4.2015 by S.I. 2015/778, art. 3, Sch. 1 para. 39

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open Schedules only

The Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Impact Assessments

Impact Assessments generally accompany all UK Government interventions of a regulatory nature that affect the private sector, civil society organisations and public services. They apply regardless of whether the regulation originates from a domestic or international source and can accompany primary (Acts etc) and secondary legislation (SIs). An Impact Assessment allows those with an interest in the policy area to understand:

  • Why the government is proposing to intervene;
  • The main options the government is considering, and which one is preferred;
  • How and to what extent new policies may impact on them; and,
  • The estimated costs and benefits of proposed measures.
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources