County Courts Act 1934

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1934 c. 53
Year1934


County Courts Act, 1934

(24 & 25 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 53.

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to County Courts.

[31st July 1934]

Be 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:—

I Constitution and Administration.

Part I.

Constitution and Administration.

County Courts and Districts.

County Courts and Districts.

S-1 County courts to be held for districts.

1 County courts to be held for districts.

(1) For the purposes of this Act, England (excluding the City of London) shall be divided into districts, and a court shall be held under this Act for each of the said districts at one or more places therein, and throughout the whole of each district the court so held for the district shall have such jurisdiction and powers as are conferred by this Act and any other enactment for the time being in force.

(2) Every court so held shall be called a county court and shall be a court of record and shall have a seal.

S-2 Delimitation of districts.

2 Delimitation of districts.

(1) Subject to any alterations made in pursuance of this Act, county courts shall continue to be held for the districts and at the places and by the names appointed at the commencement of this Act under the enactments repealed by this Act.

(2) The Lord Chancellor may from time to time by order—

(a ) alter the number and boundaries of districts and the places at which courts are to be held;

(b ) discontinue the holding of any court, consolidate any two or more districts, or divide any district;

(c ) specify the name under which, and the places in which, a court is to be held in any district:

Provided that no order shall be made under this subsection with respect to a Duchy of Lancaster district except with the consent of the Chancellor of that Duchy.

(3) Any order made under this section for the discontinuance of the holding of any court may make provision with respect to proceedings commenced in that court before the order comes into operation.

(4) Any order made under this section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order made thereunder.

S-3 Definition of Duchy of Lancaster districts.

3 Definition of Duchy of Lancaster districts.

(1) In this Act the expression ‘Duchy of Lancaster district’ means a district wholly or partly within that Duchy, being a district the judge of which is not judge of any other district wholly outside that Duchy, or, in a case where there is more than one judge of the district, being a district no judge of which is judge of any other district wholly outside that Duchy:

Provided that the Lord Chancellor may by order provide that a district adjacent to the said Duchy shall be treated for the purpose of this subsection as if it were wholly or partly within that Duchy.

(2) The Lord Chancellor may, with the consent of the Chancellor of the said Duchy, revoke any order made under this section.

Judges.

Judges.

S-4 Appointment of judges for districts.

4 Appointment of judges for districts.

(1) There shall be at least one judge for each district, and the Lord Chancellor shall from time to time appoint to be judges such number of fit persons as is necessary:

Provided that—

(a ) when the judge of a Duchy of Lancaster district ceases to be the judge thereof, whether by reason of his vacating office or by reason of any alteration in the distribution of the districts among the judges made under subsection (4) of this section, the appointment of his successor shall, unless it is made under the said subsection (4), be made by the Chancellor of that Duchy and not by the Lord Chancellor; and

(b ) the number of judges shall not at any time exceed sixty.

(2) The distribution of the districts among the judges, as existing at the commencement of this Act, shall continue, subject to any alterations made under this section.

(3) The Lord Chancellor may from time to time direct that there shall be two judges for a district, and may make such regulations as to their respective sittings, or otherwise as to the division of their duties, as he thinks fit, and each of the judges when acting in pursuance of any such direction shall have all such powers as he would have had if he had been sole judge for the district.

(4) The Lord Chancellor may from time to time alter the distribution of the districts among the judges, and for that purpose may—

(a ) direct that any judge shall cease to be the judge of any district, or shall be transferred from all or any of the districts for which he is judge to any other district;

(b ) appoint any judge to be judge for any district in addition to the district for which he is already judge;

(c ) direct that any judge shall sit as an additional judge in any district.

(5) The Lord Chancellor shall not exercise his powers under either of the last two foregoing subsections with respect to a Duchy of Lancaster district except with the consent of the Chancellor of that Duchy.

(6) Any judge shall be capable of acting for any other judge within or without any district for which that other judge has been appointed.

S-5 Qualifications of judges.

5 Qualifications of judges.

(1) No person shall be qualified to be appointed a judge unless he is a barrister-at-law of at least seven years' standing.

(2) Before appointing any person to be a judge, the Lord Chancellor or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as the case may be, shall take steps to satisfy himself that the health of that person is satisfactory.

S-6 Disqualifications of judges.

6 Disqualifications of judges.

6. No judge, so long as he holds office as such, shall—

a ) be capable of being elected, or of sitting as, a member of the House of Commons; or
b ) practise at the bar, or be directly or indirectly concerned as a conveyancer, notary public or solicitor; or
c ) act as arbitrator or referee for any remuneration to himself
S-7 Removal and retirement of judges.

7 Removal and retirement of judges.

(1) The Lord Chancellor or, in the case of a judge of a Duchy of Lancaster district, the Chancellor of that Duchy, may, if he thinks fit, remove a judge for inability or misbehaviour.

(2) A judge shall vacate his office at the end of the completed year of service in the course of which he attains the age of seventy-two years:

Provided that where the Lord Chancellor considers it desirable in the public interest to retain any judge in office after that judge attains the said age, he may from time to time authorise the continuance of that judge in office up to such later age (not exceeding seventy-five years) as he thinks fit.

S-8 Salaries and allowances of judges.

8 Salaries and allowances of judges.

(1) There shall be paid to every judge a salary of one thousand five hundred pounds a year.

(2) Every salary payable as aforesaid shall—

(a ) be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Fund or the growing produce thereof; and

(b ) begin from the date of appointment and accrue due from day to day; and

(c ) be payable at such intervals not exceeding three months as the Treasury may from time to time determine.

(3) The Lord Chancellor may allow to any judge such sum as the Lord Chancellor in each case, with the approval of the Treasury, thinks reasonable for the purpose of defraying the travelling expenses of the judge, regard being had to the size and circumstances of the district for which he is judge or in which he is directed under this Act to sit as judge.

S-9 Pensions of judges.

9 Pensions of judges.

(1) The Lord Chancellor may from time to time recommend to the Treasury that there shall be paid to any judge an annual sum by way of pension calculated in accordance with the provisions of Part I of the First Schedule to this Act—

(a ) if his office is vacated in pursuance of subsection (2) of section seven of this Act; or

(b ) if the Lord Chancellor is satisfied by means of a medical certificate that, by reason of infirmity of mind or body, he is incapable of discharging the duties of his office, and that the incapacity is likely to be permanent; or

(c ) if he retires after fifteen years' service, and at the time of retirement has attained the age of sixty-five years.

(2) A person to whom a pension has been granted under this section before he has attained the age of seventy-two years in consequence of such incapacity as aforesaid shall, until he has attained that age, be liable to be called upon by the Lord Chancellor to resume the duties of a judge of county courts with the salary attached thereto, and, if (being in a competent state of health) he declines when so called upon to resume those duties, or declines or neglects to execute those duties satisfactorily, he shall forfeit his right to the pension so granted to him.

(3) Whenever a person has resumed his duties as aforesaid, the payment of the pension granted to him shall be suspended during the period of his resumed service, but at the end of that period the pension shall again be payable and be recalculated in accordance with the provisions of Part I of the said First Schedule, and for that purpose the period of his resumed service shall be added to the period of his former service.

(4) The decision of the Treasury shall be final on any question arising as to—

(a ) the application of any of the provisions of this section to any person; or

(b ) the amount of any pension under this section; or

(c ) the reckoning of any service for the purpose of calculating such a pension.

(5) Any pension under this section shall be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Fund or the growing produce thereof, and shall be paid quarterly or otherwise in every year as the Treasury may determine.

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