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Magistrates' Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 1964

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Magistrates' Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 1964 F1

1964 CHAPTER 21

An Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to the offices of justice of the peace, resident magistrate and clerk of petty sessions, the jurisdiction of, and the practice and procedure before, magistrates' courts, and to matters connected therewith.

[7th July 1964]

F11968 (c.32)

WHEREAS pursuant to section 12(2)( b) of the Northern Ireland Act 1962 the consent of the Lord Chief Justice has been obtained to the provisions of Part XIII of this Act which impose duties on the registrar of the[F2Court of Judicature]:

F2Words in preamble to Act substituted (1.10.2009) by Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 4), ss. 59(5), 148(1), Sch. 11 para. 6; S.I. 2009/1604, art. 2(d)

And Whereas the Clerk of the Parliaments has certified accordingly pursuant to section 1 of the Legislative Procedure Act (Northern Ireland) 1933 as applicable, by virtue of section 12(4) of the Northern Ireland Act 1962, to the said section 12(2)( b):


1Definition of “court of summary jurisdiction” and “magistrates' court”, etc.N.I.

Subs. (1), (2) rep. by 1981 NI 26

(3)In this Act—

  • “resident magistrate” means a resident magistrate or, except in sections 9(1), 10(1) and 11, a deputy resident magistrate appointed under Part IIF3. . . ; and

  • Definition rep. by 1981 NI 26

F3S. 1(3): words in the definition of "resident magistrate" repealed (3.4.2006) by Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (c. 26), ss. 86, 87(1), Sch. 13; S.R. 2006/124, art. 2, Sch. paras. 9, 11(c)

2Savings for constitution and powers of juvenile courts.N.I.

  • Subs. (1) rep. by 1981 NI 26

  • Subs. (2) rep. by 1973 c. 53; 1975 c. 62


N.I.Appointment, oath and removal of justices of the peace

F43Justices of the peace.N.I.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

S. 4 rep. by SRO (NI) 1973/341; SLR 1973; 1978 c. 23

S. 5 rep. by 1978 c. 23

6Persons disqualified for acting as justices.N.I.

(1 )F5A person shall not be capable of acting as a justice of the peace whilst he holds office asF6. . . , [F7[F8a civil servant in the Department of Justice], notary public or commissioner for oaths].

(2)If any justice of the peace is adjudged bankrupt, or makes any arrangement or composition with his creditors under the Irish Bankrupt and Insolvent Act 1857 [1857 c.60] or the Bankruptcy (Ireland) Amendment Act 1872 [1872 c.58] , he shall be and remain incapable of acting as a justice of the peace until he has been again appointed a justice of the peace.

[F9(3)A person who is adjudged bankrupt shall not be capable of being appointed a justice of the peace unless and until either the adjudication of bankruptcy is annulled or he is discharged]

[F10(3ZA)A person in relation to whom a moratorium period under a debt relief order applies shall not be capable of being appointed a justice of the peace.]

[F11(3A)A person who is the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order [F12or who is subject to a debt relief restrictions order] shall not be capable of being appointed a justice of the peace]

(4)A person shall not be deemed incapable, on grounds of interest or bias, of acting as a justice of the peace in relation to any matter concerning a local authority by reason only that—

(a)he is a member of that authority;

(b)he is one of several persons liable to be assessed to, or to pay, rates [F13 made] by that authority; or

(c)he is one of any other class of persons liable in common with the others to contribute to, or be benefited by, any rate or fund maintained by that authority or out of which the expenses of that authority are required or authorised to be defrayed.

(5)Except as provided by subsection (4), nothing in this section shall affect the operation of any rule of law disqualifying a person for acting as justice of the peace in any matter on the ground of interest or bias.

(6)This section shall not prejudice or affect the operation of—

(a)any enactment imposing a disqualification in consequence of any corrupt or illegal practice at an election; or

(b)any enactment (not being an enactment repealed by this Act) which provides that a justice of the peace shall not act in a capacity specified in that enactment.

S. 7 rep. by 2002 c. 26

S. 8 rep. by 1978 c. 23

N.I.Appointment and removal of resident magistrates

F14[9Appointment and assignment of resident magistrates.N.I.

(1)Her Majesty mayF15. . . appoint fit and proper persons to be resident magistrates, being persons who at the dates of their appointments[F16 are—

(a)members of the Bar of Northern Ireland of at least seven years' standing; or

(b)solicitors of the[F17Court of Judicature] of at least seven years' standing.]

Subs. (2) rep. by 2002 c. 26

(3)A resident magistrate shall sit in accordance with directions given by the[F18Lord Chief Justice].

(4)A resident magistrate may, in accordance with such directions, sit [F19in any magistrates' court] .

(5)Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the[F18Lord Chief Justice] may assign a resident magistrate to one or more [F20divisions] and may from time to time vary any such assignment.]

[F21(6)In subsection (5) “division” means an administrative court division specified under section2 of the Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 for all or the residual purposes of a magistrates' court.]

10Appointment of deputy resident magistrates.N.I.

[F22(1)The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission may appoint fit and proper persons, being persons who are eligible for appointment as district judges (magistrates' courts), to act as deputy district judges (magistrates' courts)—

(a)during such period or periods as the Commission, with the agreement of the [F23Department of Justice], may direct, and

(b)subject to such conditions as the Lord Chancellor may impose.]

(2)Any deputy resident magistrate may exercise and perform all the functions of a resident magistrate.

11Removal of resident magistrates from office.N.I.

F24. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


12Remuneration of resident magistrates.N.I.

(1)[F25 The Lord Chancellor may, with the consent of the Minister for the Civil Service, determine the salaries] and allowances to be paid to resident magistrates and the conditions applicable thereto.

[F26(1A)Subject to section 168(2), sums payable under subsection (1) are to be paid by the Department of Justice.]

(2)Nothing in this section shall affect—

Para.(a) spent

(b)the provisions of the Resident Magistrates' Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 1960 or section 6(5) of the Summary Jurisdiction and Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1935 [1935 c.13] in relation to resident magistrates to whom those provisions apply.

[F2712ATravelling, subsistence and financial loss allowances for justices of the peace.N.I.

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, a justice of the peace other than a resident magistrate shall be entitled—

(a)to receive payments by way of travelling allowance or subsistence allowance where expenditure on travelling or, as the case may be, on subsistence is necessarily incurred by him for the purpose of enabling him to perform any of his duties as a justice, and

(b)to receive payments by way of financial loss allowance where for that performance there is incurred by him any other expenditure to which he would not otherwise be subject or there is suffered by him any loss of earnings or of benefit under the enactments relating to social security which he would otherwise have made or received.

[F28(2)Allowances under this section shall be paid by the [F29Department of Justice] at rates determined by that department with the consent of the Department of Finance and Personnel.]]

Ss. 13‐26 rep. by 1981 NI 26

Ss. 27‐29 rep. by 1978 c. 23

Ss. 30‐46 rep. by 1981 NI 26

S. 47 rep. by 1978 c. 23

Ss. 48‐62 rep. by 1981 NI 26

S. 63 rep. by 1980 NI 6

Ss. 64‐66 rep. by 1981 NI 26

S. 67 rep. by 1969 c. 16 (NI)

Ss. 68‐104B rep. by 1981 NI 26

Ss. 105‐107 rep. by 1969 c. 30 (NI)

S. 108 rep. by 1981 NI 26

S. 109 rep. by 1972 NI 16; 1980 NI 5

Ss. 110‐118 rep. by 1981 NI 26

S. 119 rep. by 1969 c. 30 (NI)

Ss. 120‐150 rep. by 1981 NI 26

S. 151 rep. by 1978 c. 23

Ss. 152‐167 rep. by 1981 NI 26



Subs. (1) rep. by 1981 NI 26

(2)There shall be charged on and paid out of the[F31 Consolidated Fund of Northern Ireland] the salaries payable to resident magistrates under this Act or the Resident Magistrates (Belfast) Act 1911 [1911 c.58] .

Subs. (3) rep. by 1981 NI 26

Ss. 169‐171 rep. by 1981 NI 26

S. 172 rep. by SLR 1973

173Short title and collective citation.N.I.

(1)This Act may be cited as the Magistrates Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 1964 and shall be included among the Acts which may be cited to gether as the Summary Jurisdiction Acts (Northern Ireland).

Subs. (2) rep. by 1978 c. 23



Schedule 1 rep. by 1975 NI 7; SI 1973/2163; 1978 c. 23


Schedule 2 rep. by 1981 NI 26


Schedule 3 rep. by 1981 c. 45; 1981 NI 26


Schedules 4‐6 rep. by 1981 NI 26


Schedule 7 rep. by SLR 1973

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