Courts Act 2003
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The Courts Act 2003 (c.39) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom implementing many of the recommendations in Sir Robin Auld's (a Court of Appeal judge) Review of the Criminal Courts in England and Wales (also known as the "Auld Review"). The White Paper which preceded the Act was published by the Home Office on the 17 July 2002 and called "Justice for All".
The Act has nine parts:
- Maintenance of the court system
- Justices of the Peace
- Magistrates' Courts
- Court Security
- Inspectors of Court Administration
- Procedure rules and practice directions
- Final provisions (technical provisions)
The Act deals predominantly with criminal courts' administration, though certain sections deal with civil matters (notably creating a post of "Head of Civil Justice", enabling provisions for Family procedure rules, and amendments to its Civil procedure equivalent).
The Act also abolished Magistrates' Courts' Committees, combining the Magistrates' Courts' administration with the Court Service, which was then renamed Her Majesty's Courts Service. "Fines Officers" are instituted in order to strengthen the system for collecting fines after the existing system was criticised for relative ineffectiveness. Schedule 1 of the Act provided for the establishment of Courts Boards.
- Official text of the Courts Act 2003 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database
- Department for Constitutional Affairs - The Courts - Courts Act 2003
- The Courts Act 2003, as originally enacted, from the Office of Public Sector Information.
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