Justices of the Peace Act 1949

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1949 c. 101


Justices of the Peace Act , 1949

(12, 13 & 14 Geo. 6) CHAPTER 101

An Act to amend the law relating to justices of the peace (including stipendiary magistrates), justices' clerks and the administrative and financial arrangements for magistrates' courts, to provide for paying travelling and lodging allowances to members of probation committees and case committees and for enabling probation committees to hold land, to authorise the appointment of interim clerks of the peace in Scotland, and for purposes connected therewith.

[16th December 1949]

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 Provisions as to Individual Justices

Part I

Provisions as to Individual Justices

S-1 Residence qualification of justices.

1 Residence qualification of justices.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a person shall not be appointed justice of the peace by the commission of the peace for any area, nor act as justice of the peace by virtue of any such appointment, unless he resides in or within fifteen miles of that area.

(2) If the Lord Chancellor is of opinion that it is in the public interest for a person to act as justice of the peace for a particular area though not qualified so to do under the foregoing subsection, he may direct that so long as any conditions specified in the direction are satisfied the foregoing subsection shall not apply in relation to that person's appointment as justice by the commission of the peace for the area so specified.

(3) Subject to the next following subsection, where a person appointed justice of the peace by the commission of the peace for any area (whether so appointed before or after the coming into force of this section) is not qualified under the foregoing provisions of this section to act by virtue of the appointment, his name shall be removed from the commission if the Lord Chancellor is of opinion that the appointment ought not to continue having regard to the probable duration and other circumstances of the want of qualification.

(4) Nothing in this section shall apply in relation to the appointment of a person, as holding or having been appointed to any office mentioned in the first column of the First Schedule to this Act, to be a justice of the peace for an area specified in relation to that office in the second column of that Schedule.

(5) In the application of this section to the county palatine of Lancaster, references to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster shall be substituted for references to the Lord Chancellor.

S-2 The mayor as a justice.

2 The mayor as a justice.

2. Subsections (7) and (8) of section eighteen of the Local Government Act, 1933, shall be amended as follows:—

a ) the mayor of a borough shall not under subsection (7) be a justice of the peace for the borough during the year next after he ceases to be mayor
b ) subsection (7) shall not apply to the mayor of a borough not having a separate commission of the peace, and he shall accordingly be a justice for the county under subsection (8) but not for the borough
c ) subsection (8) shall not apply to the mayor of a borough having a separate commission of the peace, and he shall accordingly be a justice for the borough under subsection (7) but not for the county
S-3 Disqualification in certain cases of justices who aremembers of local authorities.

3 Disqualification in certain cases of justices who aremembers of local authorities.

(1) A justice of the peace who is a member of a local authority within the meaning of the Local Government Act, 1933, the London Government Act, 1939, or the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1947, shall not act as a member of a court of quarter sessions or of a magistrates' court in any proceedings brought by or against, or by way of appeal from a decision of, the authority or any committee or officer of the authority.

(2) For the purposes of the foregoing subsection—

(a ) any reference to a committee of a local authority includes a joint committee, joint board, joint authority or other combined body of which that authority is a member or on which it is represented; and

(b ) any reference to an officer of a local authority refers to a person employed or appointed by the authority or a committee thereof in the capacity in which he is employed or appointed to act.

(3) A justice of the peace who is a member of the common council of the City of London shall not act as a member of a court of quarter sessions or of a magistrates' court in any proceedings brought by or against, or by way of appeal from a decision of, the corporation of that City or the common council or any committee or officer of the corporation or common council; and the last foregoing subsection shall apply for the purposes of this subsection, with the substitution for references to a local authority of references to the corporation or common council.

(4) Nothing in this section shall prevent a justice acting in any proceedings for an offence by reason only of their being brought by a police officer.

(5) This section shall in its application to Scotland have effect as if in subsection (1) after the words ‘magistrates' court’ there were inserted the words ‘or of a small debt court’.

S-4 Supplemental list.

4 Supplemental list.

(1) The Lord Chancellor may by statutory instrument make rules directing that in connection with any commission of the peace issued by His Majesty there shall be kept a list for the purposes of this section (in this Act called ‘the supplemental list’), and those rules shall make provision for the entry in the supplemental list kept in connection with any commission of the name of any such person appointed a justice by the commission as is hereinafter mentioned, and for the removal of names from the list.

(2) A person who is appointed justice of the peace by the commission of the peace for any area, but whose name is for the time being entered in the supplemental list kept in connection with the commission, shall not by virtue of that appointment be qualified as a justice to do any act, except as mentioned in the next following subsection, nor by virtue of that appointment be qualified as a justice to be a member of any committee or other body.

(3) The last foregoing subsection shall not preclude a justice from doing all or any of the following acts as a justice, that is to say,—

(a ) signing any document for the purpose of authenticating another person's signature;

(b ) taking and authenticating by his signature any written declaration not made on oath; and

(c ) giving a certificate of facts within his knowledge or of his opinion as to any matter.

(4) Subject to the two next following subsections any rules made under this section shall provide for entering in the supplemental list the names of persons—

(a ) who are of the age of seventy-five years or over and neither hold nor have held high judicial office within the meaning of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1876; or

(b ) who apply to have their names entered therein;

and the Lord Chancellor may direct that the name of any person appointed a justice of the peace by the commission of the peace for any area shall be entered in the supplemental list kept in connection with that commission if the Lord Chancellor is satisfied either—

(i) that by reason of that person's age or infirmity or other like cause it is expedient he should cease to exercise judicial functions as a justice for the area; or

(ii) that that person declines or neglects to take a proper part in the exercise of those functions.

(5) The said rules may provide that in such circumstances as may be prescribed by the rules a person's name shall not be entered in a supplemental list on his own application except with the approval of the Lord Chancellor.

(6) Until the expiration of five years from the coming into force of this section, the said rules may also provide for exceptions from the provisions relating to justices of the age of seventy-five years or over in any area where it appears to the Lord Chancellor necessary in order to have enough experienced justices.

(7) The said rules may provide that if, with respect to any commission of the peace, it appears to the Lord Chancellor that those of the persons appointed justices thereby who are to be subject to the disqualifications specified in subsection (2) of this section can be more conveniently designated in some manner other than the entry of their names in the supplemental list, they may be designated in such other manner as may be prescribed by the rules, and, where such provision is made, the rules shall provide for the application of this section, with the necessary adaptations, to the designation of such persons, and to persons so designated, in like manner in all respects as it applies to the entry of the names of persons in supplemental lists, and to persons whose names are entered in such lists, and references in any other provision of this Act to the supplemental list shall have effect accordingly.

(8) This section shall apply to a person who under the Local Government Act, 1933, the London Government Act, 1939, or the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1947, is a justice of the peace for any area by virtue of his office as mayor, lord provost or provost or chairman of a local authority as if his appointment as justice by that Act were an appointment by the commission of the peace for the area.

(9) In the application of this section to the county...

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