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Criminal Justice Act 1961

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39 Interpretation.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the meanings hereby assigned to them, that is to say:—

  • [F1[F2appropriate institution”, in relation to any person, means, subject to subsection (1A) of this section, any institution which would be appropriate for the detention of an offender of the same age serving an equivalent sentence passed by a court in the place to which he has been transferred;]]

  • court-martial” includes the Courts-Martial Appeal Court and any officer exercising jurisdiction under section forty-nine of the Naval Discipline Act 1957:

  • default” means failure to pay, or want of sufficient distress to satisfy, any fine or other sum of money, or failure to do or abstain from doing any thing required to be done or left undone;

  • enactment” includes an enactment of the Parliament of Northern Ireland;

  • prison” does not include a naval, military or air force prison;

  • [F2responsible Minister” means—

(a)in relation to persons detained in England and Wales or in Scotland, a Secretary of State;

(b)in relation to persons detained in Northern Ireland, [F3the Secretary of State]];

. . . F4

[F5[F6(1A)Subsection (1) of this section shall have effect in relation to a person serving a sentence of a length which could not have been passed on an offender of his age by a court in the place to which he has been transferred as if it defined “appropriate institution” as meaning such place as the Secretary of State may direct.]

(1B)Any reference in this Act to a sentence being equivalent to another sentence is to be construed as a reference to its having been so designated under section 38(6) of this Act.]

(2)Except as otherwise expressly provided, references in this Act to a court do not include references to a court-martial; and nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting the punishment which may be awarded by a court-martial under the M1Naval Discipline Act 1957, the M2Army Act 1955 or the M3Air Force Act 1955, for a civil offence within the meaning of those Acts.

(3)Where the age of any person at any time is material for the purposes of any provision of this Act regulating the powers of a court or justice of the peace, his age at the material time shall be deemed to be or to have been that which appears to the court or justice, after considering any available evidence, to be or to have been his age at that time.

(4)Any reference in this Act to any other enactment is a reference thereto as amended, and includes a reference thereto as extended or applied, by or under any other enactment, including this Act.

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Amendments (Textual)

F2Definitions in s. 39(1) repealed (E.W.)(1.10.1997) by 1997 c. 43, s. 56(2), Sch. 6; S.I. 1997/2200, art. 2(1)(o)

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