Costs in Criminal Cases Act 1952

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1952 c. 48


Costs in Criminal Cases Act , 1952

(15 & 16 Geo. 6 & 1 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 48

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to costs in criminal cases with corrections and improvements made under the Consolidation of Enactments (Procedure) Act, 1949.

[1st August 1952]

Be 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:—

S-1 Costs awarded by assizes or quarter sessions out of local funds.

1 Costs awarded by assizes or quarter sessions out of local funds.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a court of assize or quarter sessions before which any person is prosecuted or tried on indictment or inquisition—

(a ) may order the payment out of local funds of the costs of the prosecution;

(b ) may, if the accused is acquitted, order the payment out of local funds of the costs of the defence.

(2) The costs payable out of local funds under the preceding subsection shall be such sums as appear to the court reasonably sufficient to compensate the prosecutor, or as the case may be the accused, for the expenses properly incurred by him in carrying on the prosecution or the defence, and to compensate any witness for the prosecution, or as the case may be for the defence, for the expense, trouble or loss of time properly incurred in or incidental to his attendance and giving evidence.

(3) Notwithstanding that the court makes no order under subsection (1) of this section for the payment out of local funds of the costs of the defence, it may order the payment out of those funds of such sums as appear to the court reasonably sufficient to compensate any witness for the defence for the expense, trouble or loss of time properly incurred in or incidental to his attendance and giving evidence.

(4) Unless the court otherwise directs, no sum shall be payable in pursuance of an order made under this section to or in respect of any witness for the prosecution or defence who is a witness to character only.

(5) The amount of costs ordered to be paid under this section shall be ascertained as soon as practicable by the proper officer of the court.

(6) In this section the expression ‘witness’ means a person properly attending to give evidence, whether or not he gives evidence; and a person called to give evidence at the instance of the court may, whether or not he is a witness for the defence, be made the subject of an order under subsection (3) of this section.

S-2 Costs awarded by assizes or quarter sessions as between parties.

2 Costs awarded by assizes or quarter sessions as between parties.

(1) A court of assize or quarter sessions before which any person is convicted may, if it thinks fit, order him to pay the whole or any part of the costs incurred in or about the prosecution and conviction, including any proceedings before the examining justices.

(2) Where any person is acquitted on indictment, then, if—

(a ) he has not been committed to or detained in custody or bound by recognizance to answer the indictment; or

(b ) the indictment is for an offence under the Merchandise Marks Acts, 1887 to 1938; or

(c ) the indictment is by a private prosecutor for the publication of a defamatory libel or for any corrupt practice within the meaning of the Representation of the People Act, 1949,

the court of assize or quarter sessions before which he is acquitted may order the prosecutor to pay the whole or any part of the costs incurred in or about the defence, including any proceedings before the examining justices.

(3) Costs payable under this section shall be taxed by the proper officer of the court.

S-3 Costs awarded by Court of Criminal Appeal.

3 Costs awarded by Court of Criminal Appeal.

(1) The Court of Criminal Appeal may, when it dismisses an appeal, or application for leave to appeal, order the appellant to pay the whole or any part of the costs of the appeal or application, including the cost of any transcript of the shorthand notes of the proceedings at the trial made in accordance with a direction given by the registrar under section sixteen of the Criminal Appeal Act, 1907.

(2) The Court of Criminal Appeal may, when it allows an appeal against a conviction, order the payment out of local funds of such sums as appear to the Court reasonably sufficient to compensate the appellant for any expenses properly incurred in the prosecution of his appeal, including any proceedings preliminary or incidental thereto, or in carrying on his defence.

The amount of costs that the Court has ordered to be paid under this subsection shall as soon as practicable be ascertained by the proper officer of the Court.

(3) Whether or not the Court makes an order under the preceding provisions of this section, there shall be defrayed out of local funds, up to an amount allowed by the Court—

(a ) the fees of any counsel, and the expenses and fees of any solicitor, assigned to the appellant under section ten of the Criminal Appeal Act, 1907;

(b ) the expenses of any witness attending on the order of the Court, or examined in any proceedings incidental to an appeal in the Court;

(c ) the expenses of the appearance of the appellant on the hearing of his appeal or on any proceedings preliminary or incidental to the appeal;

(d ) the expenses of and incidental to any examination of witnesses conducted by a person appointed by the Court for the purpose, or of any reference of a question to a special commissioner appointed by the Court, and

(e ) the expenses of any person appointed as assessor to the Court.

(4) Except as provided in this and the next following section, no costs shall be allowed on the hearing or determination of an appeal, or of any proceedings preliminary or incidental to an appeal, under the Criminal Appeal Act, 1907.

S-4 Costs awarded by the House of Lords.

4 Costs awarded by the House of Lords.

(1) Where an appeal to the House of Lords brought under subsection (6) of section one of the Criminal Appeal Act, 1907, is determined in favour of the accused, the House of Lords may, if it thinks fit, order the payment out of local funds of such sums as appear to it reasonably sufficient to compensate him for any expenses properly incurred by him in the appeal to the House of Lords or in the prosecution of his appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal or in carrying on his defence.

(2) The amount of any costs ordered to be paid under this section shall be ascertained by such officer or officers, and in such manner, as may be prescribed by order of the House of Lords.

S-5 Costs awarded by magistrates' courts out of local funds.

5 Costs awarded by magistrates' courts out of local funds.

(1) A magistrates' court dealing summarily with an indictable offence, or inquiring into any offence as examining justices, may, subject to the provisions of this section, order the payment out of local funds of the costs of the prosecution.

(2) A magistrates' court dealing summarily with an indictable offence and dismissing the information, or inquiring into any offence as examining justices and determining not to commit the accused for trial, may, subject to the provisions of this section, order the payment out of local funds of the costs of the defence.

(3) The costs payable out of local funds under the preceding provisions of this section shall be such sums as appear to the court reasonably sufficient to compensate the prosecutor, or as the case may be the accused, for the expenses properly incurred by him in carrying on the prosecution or the defence, and to compensate any witness for the prosecution, or as the case may be for the defence, for the expense, trouble or loss of time properly incurred in or incidental to his attendance and giving evidence.

(4) Notwithstanding that the court makes no order under subsection (2) of this section for the payment out of local funds of the costs of the defence, it may order the payment out of those funds of such sums as appear to the court reasonably sufficient to compensate any witness for the defence for the expense, trouble or loss of time properly incurred in or incidental to his attendance and giving evidence.

(5) The amount of costs ordered to be paid under this section shall be ascertained as soon as practicable by the proper officer of the court.

(6) In this section the expression ‘witness’ means a person properly attending to give evidence, whether or not he gives evidence; and a person called to give evidence at the instance of the court may, whether or not he is a witness for the defence, be made the subject of an order under subsection (4) of this section.

S-6 Costs awarded by magistrates' courts as between parties.

6 Costs awarded by magistrates' courts as between parties.

(1) On the summary trial of an information a magistrates' court shall have power to make such order as to costs—

(a ) on conviction, to be paid by the accused to the prosecutor;

(b ) on dismissal of the information, to be paid by the prosecutor to the accused,

as it thinks just and reasonable:

Provided that—

(i) where under the conviction the court orders payment of any sum as a fine, penalty, forfeiture or compensation, and the sum so ordered to be paid does not exceed five shillings, the court shall not order the accused to pay any costs under this subsection unless in any particular case it thinks fit to do so;

(ii) where the accused is under seventeen years old, the amount of the costs ordered to be paid by the accused himself under this subsection shall not exceed the amount of any fine ordered to be so paid.

(2) A court shall specify in the conviction, or as the case may be the order of...

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