Administration of Justice Act 1969

Publication Date:January 01, 1969


Administration of JusticeAct 1969

1969 CHAPTER 58

An Act to increase the jurisdiction of county courts and to amend the County Courts Act 1959; to make further provision for appeals from the High Court (whether in England and Wales or in Northern Ireland) to the House of Lords; to enable wills and codicils to be made for mentally disordered persons; to make provision for interim payments to be made where proceedings are pending, and for conferring powers to be exercisable by the court before the commencement of an action, and to make further provision with respect to interest on damages; to enable any jurisdiction of the High Court to be assigned to two or more Divisions concurrently; to enable the Appeal Tribunals under the Patents Act 1949 and the Registered Designs Act 1949 to consist of two or more judges; to change the title and qualification of clerks to registrars of the Chancery Division; to make further provision with respect to miscellaneous matters, that is to say, certain employments in the offices of the Supreme Court, records of grants of probate and grants of administration and the making of second and subsequent grants, admission as a public notary, pension rights and related matters in connection with certain judicial offices, and the stipend and fees of the Chancellor of the County Palatine of Durham; to extend the legislative power of the Parliament of Northern Ireland with respect to grand juries and indictments; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[22nd October 1969]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Amendments of County Courts Act 1959

Part I

Amendments of County Courts Act 1959

S-1 Increase of general jurisdiction in contract and tort and in respect of money recoverable by statute.

1 Increase of general jurisdiction in contract and tort and in respect of money recoverable by statute.

In sections 39 and 40 of the County Courts Act 1959(in this Part of this Act referred to as ‘the principal Act’) for each reference to five hundred pounds there shall be substituted the words ‘750’.

S-2 Corresponding increases under other provisions.

2 Corresponding increases under other provisions.

In the following provisions of the principal Act, that is to say, section 41 (abandonment of part of claim to give court jurisdiction), section 45(2) (transfer of actions of contract or tort from High Court to county court), section 68 (transfer of inter-pleader proceedings from High Court to county court), section 80 (actions by persons under 21 for payment of remuneration) and section 146 (transfer from High Court of applications to attach debts or levy executions against members of firms), and in Schedule 1 to that Act, in the entry relating to section 136 of the Law of Property Act 1925, for each reference to five hundred pounds there shall be substituted the words ‘750’.

S-3 Transfer of certain actions of contract or tort from county court to High Court at defendant's instance.

3 Transfer of certain actions of contract or tort from county court to High Court at defendant's instance.

In section 44 of the principal Act, in subsection (1), for the words ‘forty pounds’ there shall be substituted the words ‘100’, and in subsection (2), for the words from ‘the amount claimed and the costs of trial’ to the end of paragraph ( a ) there shall be substituted the words ‘such amount as the registrar may determine, and’.

S-4 Costs of proceedings commenced in High Court which could have been commenced in county court.

4 Costs of proceedings commenced in High Court which could have been commenced in county court.

(1) In section 47 of the principal Act (costs of actions of contract or tort commenced in High Court which could have been commenced in county court), in subsection (1),—

( a ) the words ‘and the action is not referred for trial to an official referee’ shall cease to have effect

( b ) in paragraph ( a ), for the reference to four hundred pounds there shall be substituted the words ‘500’ and

( c ) in paragraph ( b ), for the words ‘seventy-five pounds’ there shall be substituted the words ‘100’

and after that subsection there shall be inserted the following subsection:—

(1A) In relation to an action brought to enforce a right to recover possession of goods, or to enforce such a right and to claim payment of a debt or other demand or damages, subsection (1) of this section shall have effect as if—

( a ) in paragraph ( a ) of that subsection, for the words 'he recovers a sum less than 500' there were substituted the words 'the aggregate amount recovered by him in the action, including the value of any goods ordered in the action to be delivered to him, is less than 500', and

( b ) in paragraph ( b ) of that subsection, for the words 'he recovers a sum less than 100' there were substituted the words 'the aggregate amount recovered by him in the action, including the value of any goods ordered in the action to be delivered to him, is less than 100'

and as if, in the words so substituted, any reference to an order for the delivery of goods to the plaintiff included a reference to an order to deliver goods to the plaintiff or to pay their value to him.’

(2) Subsection (4) of the said section 47 shall cease to have effect.

(3) In section 60 of the principal Act (costs of certain Admiralty proceedings commenced in High Court which could have been commenced in county court), in subsection (3), for the words ‘seventy-five pounds’ there shall be substituted the words ‘100’.

S-5 Increase of jurisdiction in equity and certain related proceeding.

5 Increase of jurisdiction in equity and certain related proceeding.

In section 52(1) of the principal Act (equity jurisdiction) and in Schedule 1 to that Act (excluding the entry in that Schedule relating to section 136 of the Law of Property Act 1925) for the words ‘five hundred pounds’, in each place where they occur, there shall be substituted the words ‘5,000’, and for the words ‘thirty pounds’, in each place where they occur, there shall be substituted the words ‘300’.

S-6 General ancillary jurisdiction.

6 General ancillary jurisdiction.

In section 74 of the principal Act the words ‘in any proceedings before it’ shall cease to have effect, and at the end of that section there shall be added the following subsection:—

(2) For the purposes of this section it shall be assumed (notwithstanding any enactment to the contrary) that any proceedings which can be commenced in a county court could be commenced in the High Court.’

S-7 Right of audience.

7 Right of audience.

(1) In section 89 of the principal Act, in paragraph ( c ), for the words ‘but not a solicitor retained as an advocate by a solicitor so acting’ there shall be substituted the words ‘(in this paragraph referred to as a 'solicitor on the record'), any solicitor employed by a solicitor on the record, any solicitor engaged as an agent by a solicitor on the record and any solicitor employed by a solicitor so engaged’, and paragraph (i) of the proviso shall be omitted.

(2) At the end of the said section 89 there shall be added the following subsections:—

(2) Where an action is brought in a county court by a local authority for either or both of the following, that is to say—

( a ) the recovery of possession of a house belonging to the authority;

( b ) the recovery of any rent, mesne profits, damages or other sum claimed by the authority in respect of the occupation by any person of such a house,

then, in so far as the proceedings in the action are heard by the registrar, any officer of the authority authorised by the authority in that behalf, not being a person entitled to address the court by virtue of subsection (1) of this section, may address the registrar as if he were a person so entitled.

(3) In this section 'local authority' means the council of a county, county borough, London borough or county district, the Greater London Council or the Common Council of the City of London, 'house' includes a part of a house, a flat or any other dwelling and also includes any yard, garden, outhouse or appurtenance occupied with a house or part of a house or with a flat or other dwelling, and any reference to the occupation of a house by a person includes a reference to anything done by that person, or caused or permitted by him to be done, in relation to the house as occupier of the house, whether under a tenancy or licence or otherwise.’

S-8 Assessors.

8 Assessors.

In section 91 of the principal Act, at the beginning of subsection (2) there shall be inserted the words ‘Subject to the next following subsection’, and after that subsection there shall be inserted the following subsection:—

(2A) For the purpose of assisting the judge in reviewing the taxation by the registrar of the costs of any proceedings, the power conferred by subsection (1) of this section shall be exercisable by the judge without any application being made by any party to the proceedings; and, where one or more assessors are summoned for that purpose otherwise than on the application of a party to the proceedings, the remuneration of any such assessor—

( a ) shall be at such rate as may be determined by the Lord Chancellor with the approval of the Treasury, and

( b ) shall be payable out of moneys provided by Parliament.’

S-9 County...

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