Justices of the Peace Act 1997



Justices of the Peace Act 1997

1997 CHAPTER 25

An Act to consolidate the Justices of the Peace Act 1979 and provisions of Part IV of the Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994.

[19th March 1997]

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:—

I Commissions of the peace and petty sessions areas

Part I

Commissions of the peace and petty sessions areas

S-1 Commission areas.

1 Commission areas.

(1) There shall in England be a commission of the peace for each of the following areas—

(a) every metropolitan county

(b) every retained county

(c) every London commission area and

(d) the City of London.

(2) There shall in Wales be a commission of the peace for each of the following areas—

(a) every commission area specified in Schedule 1 to this Act and

(b) every retained county no part of which falls within a commission area so specified.

(3) In this Act ‘commission area’ means an area for which there is a commission of the peace.

S-2 London commission areas.

2 London commission areas.

(1) In this Act ‘London commission area’ means, subject to the provisions of subsections (3) to (5) below, any of the areas specified in Schedule 2 to this Act.

(2) The area specified in Part I of that Schedule is the inner London area and the areas whose names are listed in Part II of that Schedule are in this Act referred to as the ‘outer London areas’.

(3) Her Majesty may by Order in Council substitute for any one or more of the areas specified in that Schedule any other are a or areas comprising the whole or part of Greater London, or alter the boundaries of any area so specified but the City of London shall not by virtue of any such Order be included in a London commission area.

(4) An Order in Council made under this section may contain such incidental, consequential, transitional or supplementary provisions as may be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the Order (including provisions amending this Act or any other enactment).

(5) Any statutory in strument made by virtue of this section shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

S-3 General form of commissions of the peace.

3 General form of commissions of the peace.

3. The commission of the peace for any commission area shall be a commission under the Great Seal addressed generally, and not by name, to all such persons as may from time to time hold office as justices of the peace for the commission area.

S-4 Petty sessions areas.

4 Petty sessions areas.

(1) The following areas are petty sessions areas—

(a) any specified area which is not divided into petty sessional divisions

(b) any petty sessional division of a specified area and

(c) the City of London.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(a) and (b) above ‘specified area’ means—

(a) a retained county

(b) a metropolitan district

(c) the inner London area or

(d) an outer London borough.

II Justices of the peace

Part II

Justices of the peace

Justices other than stipendiary magistrates

Justices other than stipendiary magistrates

S-5 Appointment and removal of justices of the peace.

5 Appointment and removal of justices of the peace.

(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Act, justices of the peace for any commission area shall be appointed by the Lord Chancellor by instrument on behalf and in the name of Her Majesty and a justice so appointed may be removed from office in like manner.

(2) Subsection (1) above—

(a) does not apply to stipendiary magistrates and

(b) is without prejudice to the position of the Lord Mayor and aldermen as justices for the City of London by virtue of the charters of the City.

S-6 Residence qualification.

6 Residence qualification.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a person shall not be appointed as a justice of the peace for a commission area in accordance with section 5 above, nor act as a justice of the peace by virtue of any such appointment, unless he resides in or within 15 miles of that area.

(2) If the Lord Chancellor is of the opinion that it is in the public interest for a person to act as a justice of the peace for a particular area though not qualified to do so under subsection (1) ab ove, he may direct that, so long as any conditions specified in the direction are satisfied, that subsection shall not apply in relation to that person's appointment as a justice of the peace for the area so specified.

(3) Where a person appointed as a justice of the peace for a commission area in accordance with section 5 above is not qualified under the preceding provisions of this section to act by virtue of the appointment, he shall be removed from office as a justice of the peace in ac cordance with that section if the Lord Chancellor is of the opinion that the appointment ought not to continue having regard to the probable duration and other circumstances of the lack of qualification.

(4) No act or appointment shall be invalidated by reason only of the disqualification or lack of qualification under this section of the person acting or appointed.

S-7 Supplemental list for England and Wales.

7 Supplemental list for England and Wales.

(1) There shall be kept in the office of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery a supplemental list for England and Wales as provided for by this Act (in this Act referred to as ‘the supplemental list’).

(2) Subject to the following provisions of this section, there shall be entered in the supplemental list—

(a) the name of any justice of the peace who has attained the age of 70 and neither holds nor has held high judicial office within the meaning of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 and

(b) the name of any justice of the peace who holds or has held such office and has attained the age of 75.

(3) A person who, on the date when his name falls to be entered in the supplemental list in accordance with subsection (2) above, holds office as chairman of the justices for a petty sessions area (whether by an election under section 22 below, or, in the City of London, as Chief Magistrate or acting Chief Magistrate) shall have his name so entered on the expiry or earlier determination of the term for which he holds office on that date.

(4) The Lord Chancellor may direct that the name of a justice of the peace for any area shall be entered in the supplemental list if the Lord Chancellor is satisfied either—

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

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

(5) On a person's appointment as a justice of the peace for any area the Lord Chancellor may direct that his name shall be entered in the supplemental list if that person is appointed a justice for that area on ceasing to be a justice for some other area.

(6) The name of a justice of the peace shall be entered in the supplemental list if he applies for it to be so entered and the application is approved by the Lord Chancellor.

(7) Nothing in this section applies to a person holding office as stipendiary magistrate.

S-8 Removal of name from supplemental list.

8 Removal of name from supplemental list.

(1) A person's name shall be removed from the supplemental list if—

(a) he ceases to be a justice of the peace or

(b) the Lord Chancellor so directs.

(2) Subsection (1)(b) above does not apply where the person's name is required to be entered in the supplemental list by section 7(2) or (3) above.

S-9 Effect of entry of name in supplemental list.

9 Effect of entry of name in supplemental list.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a justice of the peace for any area, while his name is entered in the supplemental list, shall not by reason of being a justice for that area be qualified as a justice to do any act or to be a member of any committee or other body.

(2) Subsection (1) above does not preclude a justice from doing all or any of the following acts as a justice, namely—

(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.

(3) The entry of a person's name in the supplemental list does not preclude him, if so authorised by the Lord Chancellor, from acting as a judge of the Crown Court so long...

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