Chapter 003:12 - Summary Jurisdiction (Lay Magistrates)

Link to law: http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/information/laws-of-guyana/434-chapter-312-summary-jurisdiction-lay-magistrates/file

L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
SUMMARY JURISDICTION (LAY MAGISTRATES) ACT
CHAPTER 3:12
Act 25 of 2009
Current Authorised Pages
Pages (inclusive)
Authorised by L.R.O.
1 – 11 ... 1/2012
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Note
on
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.
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CHAPTER 3:12 SUMMARY JURISDICTION (LAY MAGISTRATES) ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION 1. Short title. 2. Lay magistrates' courts.
3. Assignment of lay magistrates.
4. Qualification for appointment as a lay magistrate.
5. Protection of lay magistrates.
6. Clerk.
7. Qualifications for appointment as a Clerk.
8. Powers and duties of a clerk.
9. Criminal jurisdiction of a lay magistrates' court.
10. Summary trial of case.
11. Civil jurisdiction of a lay magistrates' court.
12. Area of jurisdiction.
13. Jurisdiction of a magistrates' court unaffected.
14. Promotion of reconciliation in criminal cases.
15. Transfer of case in course of inquiry or trial.
16. Adjournments.
17. Sunday or public holidays.
18. Promotion of reconciliation in civil cases.
19. Part heard proceedings.
20. Enforcement.
21. Rules of court.
SCHEDULE
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CHAPTER 3:12
SUMMARY JURISDICTION (LAY MAGISTRATES) ACT
25 of 2009 AN ACT to provide for the constitution of lay magistrates' courts; for the appointment of lay magistrates; for the regulation of their jurisdiction, practice and procedure and for other like purposes.
[8TH SEPTEMBER, 2009]
Short title.
Lay magistrates' courts.
Assignment of lay magistrates.
Qualification for appoint­ ment as a lay magistrate.
Protection of lay magistrates.
1. This Act may be cited as the Summary Jurisdiction (Lay Magistrates) Act.
2. (1) There shall be established such number of lay magistrates’ courts as the Minister, after consultation with the Chancellor, may determine.
(2) A lay magistrates’ court shall be presided over by a person to be called a lay magistrate and shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, exercise both criminal and civil jurisdiction.
3. Every lay magistrate shall have jurisdiction throughout Guyana and may be assigned to any magisterial district by the Chancellor.
4. A person shall be qualified to be appointed a lay magistrate if he is a fit and proper person with at least seven years’ experience in a senior position in a public sector or private sector field of activity.
5. A lay magistrate acting judicially shall not be liable to be sued in any civil court for any act done or ordered by him to be done in the performance of his judicial functions whether or not within the limits of his jurisdiction, if at the time, he in good faith believed himself to have jurisdiction to do or order to do the act complained of.
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Clerk.
Qualifications for appointment as a Clerk.
Powers and duties of a clerk.
Cap. 3:05
Criminal jurisdiction of a lay magistrates'
6. (1) There shall be appointed for every lay magistrates’ court a fit and proper person to be or to act as clerk of that court.
(2) The clerk shall have such functions as may be prescribed by the Chancellor.
(3) The clerk shall be subject to the general supervision and control of the Chancellor, but shall be under the immediate supervision of the lay magistrate presiding over the court of which he is the clerk.
7. No person shall be appointed as a clerk to a lay magistrates’ court unless at the time of appointment he holds a Bachelor of Laws degree of a university of any Commonwealth country or any equivalent qualification or in the opinion of the Chancellor is a fit and proper person to be appointed as a clerk.
8. (1) It is hereby declared that the functions of a clerk include the giving to the lay magistrate to whom he is clerk, as and when required by the lay magistrate, such advice within his competence about law, practice or procedure on questions arising in connection with the discharge of his functions, and it shall be the duty of the clerk to bring to the attention of the lay magistrate any point of law, practice or procedure that is or may be involved in any questions so arising.
(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1) the duties of the clerk, shall be such as may be assigned by the Chancellor and, where appropriate, shall include those duties specified under section 23 of the Summary Jurisdiction (Magistrates) Act so far as those duties apply to the aforesaid clerk.
9. (1) A lay magistrates’ court may try any summary offences and such offences shall include those mentioned in the Schedule but shall not impose a fine in excess of ten thousand dollars.
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courts. Schedule.
Summary trial of case.
Civil jurisdiction of a lay magistrates' court.
Area of jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction of a magistrates' court unaffected. Cap. 3:05
Promotion of reconciliation in criminal cases.
Transfer of case in course of inquiry or trial.
Cap. 3:05
(2) A lay magistrates’ court may on conviction for an offence impose a punishment within the limits of its jurisdiction, but shall have no power to impose a custodial sentence.
10. Where a person charged with committing an offence stated by the enactment creating the offence to be triable summarily, a lay magistrates’ court, presided over by a lay magistrate, may try such offence but the monetary punishment therefor shall not exceed the punishment mentioned in section 9 (1).
11. A lay magistrates’ court may hear and determine civil cases or matters where the subject matter in dispute, if capable of being estimated at a money value, does not exceed fifty thousand dollars.
12. The jurisdiction of a lay magistrates’ court shall extend only to causes and matters arising within the magisterial area of its jurisdiction.
13. Nothing in this Act shall affect or be deemed to affect the jurisdiction of a magistrates’ court under the Summary Jurisdiction (Magistrates) Act.
14. In all cases a lay magistrates’ court shall promote reconciliation, and encourage and facilitate the settlement in an amicable way, of proceedings for common assault or for any other offence of a personal or private nature not amounting to felony and not aggravated in degree, on terms of payment of compensation or other terms approved by the court and may thereupon order the proceedings to be stayed.
15. If in the course of any inquiry or trial before a lay magistrates’ court, the evidence appears to warrant a presumption that the case is one which should be tried or committed for trial by a magistrate under the Summary Jurisdiction (Magistrates) Act he shall stay proceedings and submit the case with a brief report thereon to any magistrate
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Adjournments.
Sundays or public holidays.
Promotion of reconciliation in civil cases.
Part heard Proceedings.
holding a magistrates’ court, the said magisterial district in which the lay magistrate is holding court and the said magistrate shall hear the case submitted unless he makes objection to the Chancellor giving reasons therefor.
16. (1) Before or during the hearing of any case, lay magistrate may in his discretion adjourn the hearing subject to the provisions of this section, to a time and place appointed by him in the presence and hearing of the parties or of their counsel.
(2) If a lay magistrate is not present at the time and place of hearing, the clerk may, by public notice, written or oral, adjourn the sitting until such time and to such place as may be stated in the notice and all persons bound to be present at the sitting so adjourned shall be equally bound to be present at the time and place appointed by such notice.
(3) In the absence of a notice under subsection (2) all persons bound to be present at the sitting shall be bound to be present at the next succeeding time appointed for the sitting of the court at the same place.
(4) No adjournments under this section shall be for more than seven clear days.
17. When any day appointed for the sitting or adjourned sitting of the court falls on a Sunday or a public holiday, the court may if practicable sit on the day (not being a public holiday) next after the day appointed for such sitting.
18. (1) In civil causes or matters a lay magistrate shall, as far as there is proper opportunity, promote reconciliation among persons over whom he has jurisdiction, and encourage and facilitate the settlement in an amicable way and without recourse to litigation in the matters in dispute between them.
19. Where a lay magistrate who has commenced any proceedings, whether civil or criminal, ceases to act as a lay
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Enforcement.
Rules of court.
magistrate, any lay magistrate who succeeds him or acts in his place may hear and determine the proceeding de novo.
20. (1) Where a lay magistrates’ court imposes a fine or gives judgement in a civil case but the fine is not paid within the time allowed by the lay magistrate or the civil judgement is not complied with, the lay magistrate shall transfer the record of the proceedings to any magistrate holding a magistrates’ court in the said magisterial district in which the lay magistrate is holding court.
(2) Upon receipt of the record of the proceedings, the magistrate shall instruct his clerk to stamp with stamp of the magistrates’ court, initial and enter a note of the record in a book kept for that purpose and thereupon the decision of the lay magistrate shall be deemed to be the decision of the magistrate and subsequent proceedings may accordingly be taken to enforce such fine or judgement.
21. (1) The Chancellor may make rules of court to regulate the practice and procedure to be followed in lay magistrates’ courts in both criminal and civil matters, and without prejudice to the generality of foregoing, rules of court made under this section may regulate all or any of the following matters, that is to say-
(a) the duties of clerks;
(b) the distribution of business between lay magistrates and between lay magistrates’ courts;
I the forms to be used and matters connected therewith;
(d) the receipt of money paid into court received or recovered under this Act or by virtue of any process;
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c. 10:02
c. 7:01
c.3:05 [sub.leg.]
I the records and returns of cases of the lay magistrates’ court;
(f) the fees, cost and matters connected therewith;
(g) the payment out of court of all monies to the persons entitled thereto;
(h) the service and execution of process;
(i) the enforcement of judgement debt;
(j) any other matters for the purposes of the better carrying into effect of this Act.
(2) Until rules under subsection (1) are made, the practice and procedure to be followed by a lay magistrates’ court shall be regulated –
(a) in its criminal jurisdiction in respect of summary conviction offences, by the Summary Jurisdiction (Procedure) Act and by any other written law relating thereto;
(b) in its civil jurisdiction, by Summary Jurisdiction (Petty Debt) Act and by any other written law relating thereto including the Summary Jurisdiction (Magistrates) Money Regulations and the Summary Jurisdiction (Civil Procedure) Rules;
subject to such modifications as the Chancellor may deem necessary or expedient.
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SCHEDULE s.9
SUMMARY JURISDICTION OFFENCES
OFFENCES INVOLVING BREACH OF THE PEACE
(i) profane language (ii) indecent language (iii) abusive language (iv) disorderly behaviour (v) threatening behaviour (vi) fighting in public (vii) indecent exposure (viii) drunkenness in public (ix) provoking a breach of the peace (x) malicious damage to property (xi) placing goods over the public way in
town and those other offences referred to in section 153 of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act Cap. 8:02.
TRAFFIC OFFENCES
(i) mini-bus overloading (ii) hire-car overloading (iii) failure to conform to traffic sign (iv) defective motor vehicles including
motor cycles (v) unlicensed drivers or riders of
motor cycles (vi) uncertified vehicles as the fitness,
roadworthiness (vii) unkempt drivers of hire cars and
mini-buses.
LICENCE AND REVENUE OFFENCES
(i) offences relating to weights and
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measures in Georgetown and the towns and their environs other than in their municipal markets
(ii) unlicensed radio and other transmitting devices
OFFENCES AGAINST THE CITY AND TOWN COUNCILS
(i) public health offences with respect to restaurants and eating houses
(ii) littering parapets, sidewalks, alleyways, etc.
(iii) untidy yards and surroundings (iv) incorrect weights and measure in the
municipal markets (v) encumbering parapets.
CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
offences relating to cruelty to animal
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