Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1938

Year1938


Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1938

(1 & 2 Geo. 6.) 63.

An Act to amend the law with respect to assizes and to quarter sessions and with respect to proceedings heretofore usually dealt with on the Crown side of the King's Bench Division of the High Court; to enable effect to be given to international conventions affecting English Courts; to extend the jurisdiction of county courts and to amend the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act, 1925, and the County Courts Act, 1934; to amend the law relating to appeals from the Mayor's and City of London Court; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[29th July 1938]

B E it enacted by the King'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:—

Quarter Sessions.

Quarter Sessions.

S-1 Appointment of legally qualified chairman and deputy chairman of quarter sessions.

1 Appointment of legally qualified chairman and deputy chairman of quarter sessions.

(1) The court of quarter sessions for any county may at any time apply to the Lord Chancellor for the appointment as chairman or deputy chairman of the court of a person who is or has been a barrister or solicitor of not less than ten years' standing having such legal experience as to qualify him in the opinion of the Lord Chancellor to act as chairman or deputy chairman of quarter sessions, and where such an application has been made, it shall be lawful for His Majesty, on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor, to appoint such a chairman or deputy chairman accordingly:

Provided that, before making any recommendation for an appointment under this section, the Lord Chancellor shall consider any representations which may be made to him with respect thereto by the court of quarter sessions and shall take into account the expediency of recommending where practicable a person residing in, or otherwise connected with, the county in or for which the court of quarter sessions is held and, in the case of any county in Wales or the county of Monmouth, a person able to speak the Welsh language.

(2) Where a separate court of quarter sessions is held for any division or part of a county, or a court of quarter sessions for a whole county is held in two or more divisions or parts of the county, the Lord Chancellor may upon the application of the court recommend under the foregoing subsection the appointment of such a person as aforesaid as chairman or deputy chairman of the separate court of quarter sessions for the division or part, or, as the case may be, of the quarter sessions held in the division or part, and His Majesty may accordingly appoint such a chairman or deputy chairman.

(3) Any chairman or deputy chairman appointed under this section shall hold his office for such term and on such conditions as to retirement as may be specified in his appointment and shall, if not already a Justice of the peace for the county for which he is appointed, be a justice of the peace for that county by virtue of his office, but he shall not act as chairman or deputy chairman or as a justice of the peace until he has taken the oaths required to be taken by a justice of the peace for the county.

(4) In this Act the expression ‘deputy chairman’ means, in relation to any court of quarter sessions, a person, by whatsoever name styled, performing or nominated to perform the duty of presiding over the court in the absence of the chairman and of presiding over any second court, and the said expression includes, in relation to any court, any number of such persons.

(5) This section shall not apply to the court of quarter sessions for the county of London or for the county palatine of Lancaster, or to the court of the recorder of any borough having a separate court of quarter sessions.

S-2 Extension of jurisdiction of quarter sessions.

2 Extension of jurisdiction of quarter sessions.

(1) At any session of a court of quarter sessions presided over by a legally qualified chairman of the court, the court shall (in addition to such jurisdiction with respect to the trial of offences as is vested in courts of quarter sessions at the commencement of this Act) have jurisdiction to try a person charged with any of the offences specified in the First Schedule to this Act.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person shall not, in relation to a court of quarter sessions, be deemed to be a legally qualified chairman of the court unless he is—

(a ) a chairman or a deputy chairman of the court appointed under this Act;

(b ) a person who is or has been the holder of an office mentioned in the next following subsection and who has been elected by the court as chairman or deputy chairman thereof;

(c ) a chairman or a deputy chairman of the court appointed under section forty-two of the Local Government Act, 1888 , or a person appointed under section two of the Quarter Sessions (London) Act, 1896 , to act as chairman or deputy chairman of the court;

(d ) a chairman or a deputy chairman of the court appointed under the Lancashire Quarter Sessions Act, 1928 ;

(e ) a chairman or a deputy chairman of the court appointed before the commencement of this Act under section ninety of the Middlesex County Council Act, 1934 ;

(f ) in the case of the court of quarter sessions for a borough having a population of not less than fifty thousand, the recorder, a deputy recorder or an assistant recorder of the borough for which the court is held.

(3) The offices referred to in paragraph (b ) of the last foregoing subsection are the following offices, that is to say, member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, judge of the Supreme Court, official referee attached to that Court, Railway and Canal Commissioner, judge of a county court, His Majesty's Attorney-General, His Majesty's Solicitor-General, Director of Public Prosecutions, and recorder of any borough having a separate court of quarter sessions and a population of not less than fifty thousand.

(4) For the purposes of this section, a borough shall be deemed to have a population of not less than fifty thousand if, according to the census last published before the commencement of this Act or according to any census published after the commencement of this Act, it contained or contains a population of fifty thousand or more.

(5) Where at any session of a court of quarter sessions having a legally qualified chairman no legally qualified chairman is present, the court shall nevertheless have jurisdiction to try a person charged with any of the offences specified in the First Schedule to this Act if the court is presided over by a justice of the peace for the county deputed to preside at that session by a legally qualified chairman of the court and the justice so deputed is either a person who holds or has held one of the offices mentioned in subsection (3) of this section or a person approved by the Lord Chancellor as being qualified to act as such a deputy:

Provided that this subsection shall not apply to the court of quarter sessions for the county of London or to the court of the recorder of any borough having a separate court of quarter sessions.

(6) Where a person charged with any of the offences specified in the First Schedule to this Act is committed to a court of quarter sessions and that court has not for the time being jurisdiction to try him for that offence, the power of the court under subsection (2) of section fourteen of the Criminal Justice Act, 1925 , shall nevertheless include power to direct that the trial of the accused shall take place before a court of assize or before a court of quarter sessions for some other place.

S-3 Power to adjourn quarter sessions generally.

3 Power to adjourn quarter sessions generally.

(1) The powers of a court of quarter sessions for any county or division or part of a county shall include power to adjourn the sessions generally without fixing any date for the adjourned sessions or to a date to be subsequently fixed by the chairman or otherwise as the court ordering the adjournment may direct, but if, after such an order has been made, adjourned sessions in pursuance of the order are not held, or are held but not concluded, before the date fixed under section twenty-two or section twenty-three of the Criminal Justice Act, 1925, for the next general or quarter sessions of the peace, then the sessions at which the order was made or the adjourned sessions, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be concluded immediately before the commencement of the sessions to be held on the date fixed under that Act, and any proceedings which might have been dealt with at adjourned sessions held in pursuance of the order may be dealt with as if they had been adjourned to the sessions commencing on that date, and any recognisances entered into in connection with any such proceedings shall have effect accordingly as if they had been expressed to relate to those sessions.

(2) The manner in which and the persons to whom notice is to be given of the holding of adjourned sessions in pursuance of an order made under this section and the manner in which the date of the holding of such adjourned sessions is to be published shall be such as may be from time to time determined by the court of quarter sessions at a session held on a date fixed under section twenty-two or section twenty-three of the Criminal Justice Act, 1925.

S-4 Power to remunerate legally qualified chairmen and deputy chairmen of quarter sessions.

4 Power to remunerate legally qualified chairmen and deputy chairmen of quarter sessions.

(1) If at any time it is agreed between the court of quarter sessions for any county or division or part of a county and the county council that a salary should be paid to a chairman or...

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