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Administration of Justice Act 1956

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

15Extension of power to make rules of court, and consequential and connected repeals

(1)Rules of court may prescribe the cases in which jurisdiction or powers of the High Court or a judge of the High Court may be exercised by official referees or special referees, or by masters, registrars, district registrars or other officers of the court, and without prejudice to the generality of the preceding provision may in particular—

(a)authorise the whole of any cause or matter or any question or issue therein to be ordered to be tried before, or any question arising in any cause or matter to be ordered to be referred for inquiry and report to, any such referee, master, registrar, district registrar or officer; and

(b)authorise powers of attachment and committal to be exercised by any official referee (but not by any other referee and not by any master, registrar, district registrar or other officer),

and may make any provision incidental to any such provisions as aforesaid.

(2)The decision of an official referee or special referee, or of a master, registrar, district registrar or other officer, may be called in question in such manner (whether by an appeal to the Court of Appeal or by an appeal or application to a Divisional Court or a judge in court or a judge in chambers, or by an adjournment to a judge in court or a judge in chambers) as may be prescribed by rules of court, but rules of court may, if the rule-making authority think fit, provide either generally or to a limited extent for decisions of official referees being called in question only by appeal on a question of law.

(3)The preceding provisions of this section shall not affect section six of the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1933 (which gives a right to a jury in certain cases), but sections eighty-six to ninety-seven of the principal Act (which relate to district registrars and inquiries and trials by referees) and section one of the Administration of Justice Act, 1932 (which relates to appeals from decisions of official referees) shall cease to have effect.

(4)Section sixty-two of the principal Act (which enables orders of a judge in chambers to be set aside or discharged by a judge in court or by a Divisional Court) and paragraph (g) of subsection (1) of section thirty-one of that Act (which requires the leave of the judge or of the Court of Appeal for an appeal against any order of a judge in chambers unless an application has been made to have it set aside or discharged as aforesaid) shall cease to have effect, without prejudice, however, to the power of rules of court to make provision corresponding to the said section sixty-two.

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