Magistrate’s Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Jersey) Law 1949

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Published: 2015-01-01

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Magistrate’s Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Jersey) Law 1949

Revised Edition


Showing the law as at 1 January 2015

This is a revised edition of the law

Magistrate’s Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Jersey) Law 1949





1            Definitions



2            Jurisdiction of Magistrate’s Court

3            Maximum penalties

4            Committal for sentence

5            Saving

6            Power to hear accused through television links

7            Power to hear witnesses elsewhere than in court




9            Summons


11          Errors in summons

12          Failure to appear of party summoned

13          Saving



14          Proceedings by a legally qualified prosecutor

15          Role of the Magistrate



16          Definitions

17          Right of appeal

18          Notice of appeal

19          Abandonment of appeal

20          Procedure on appeals

21          Statement of case by Magistrate

22          Procedure on consideration of appeal by case stated

23          Provisions as to legal aid

24          Bail on appeal or case stated

25          Suspension of licences and custody of goods pending appeal

26          Miscellaneous provisions



27          Power of Royal Court

28          Appeal against sentence



29          Rules of Court

30          Citation

Supporting Documents


Table of Legislation History

Table of Renumbered Provisions

Table of Endnote References

Magistrate’s Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Jersey) Law 1949

A LAW to extend the jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court, to modify procedure before that Court and to allow appeals from decisions thereof[1]

Commencement [see endnotes]



1      Definitions

(1)    In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires –

“appeal aid certificate” has the meaning given by Article 23(2);

“confiscation order” means -

(a)     a confiscation order within the meaning of the Drug Trafficking Offences (Jersey) Law 1988;[2] and

(b)     a confiscation order within the meaning of the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law 1999[3];

“Magistrate” means the Juge d’Instruction appointed in pursuance of the Loi (1864) concernant la charge de Juge d’Instruction[4] and includes any person exercising the functions of the Juge d’Instruction;

“Magistrate’s Court” means the Court established by virtue of the Loi (1853) établissant la cour pour la répression des moindres délits[5];

“offence” means any crime or misdemeanour (délit), whether at customary law or by enactment, any contravention of an enactment and any other act or omission involving breach of a duty to which by law a sanction is attached by way of punishment;

“youth detention” has the meaning given by Article 1(1) of the Criminal Justice (Young Offenders) (Jersey) Law 1994[6].[7]

(2)    In this Law a reference to prison or to imprisonment or to liability to imprisonment, includes in the case of a person who is under the age of 21, a reference to a young offender institution, or to a sentence of youth detention or liability to that sentence.[8]



2      Jurisdiction of Magistrate’s Court

Notwithstanding anything in any enactment, the Magistrate, sitting as judge in the Magistrate’s Court, shall have power and authority to hear and determine all cases for offences.[9]

3      Maximum penalties

(1)    Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 2, the maximum penalties which may be imposed by the Magistrate shall be a fine of £5,000 or imprisonment for a term of 12 months, or both such fine and such imprisonment, or such greater penalty as may be authorized by or by virtue of any Law or Order in Council to be imposed by the Magistrate’s Court:

Provided that where the Magistrate passes a sentence of imprisonment on any person, the Magistrate may order that the sentence shall commence at the expiration of any other term of imprisonment to which that person has been previously sentenced, so however that the aggregate of the terms so imposed, if the previous sentence was imposed by the Magistrate, shall not exceed the maximum term which the Magistrate is empowered by this paragraph to impose:

Provided further that where a person is convicted of more than one offence, the aggregate of the fines imposed by the Magistrate in respect of those offences shall not exceed the maximum fine which the Magistrate is empowered by this paragraph to impose.[10]

(2)    Subject to the provisions of Article 4, if the Magistrate is of opinion that the gravity of an offence is such that there should be imposed a penalty or penalties in excess of those which the Magistrate is empowered by paragraph (1) to impose, or that a confiscation order is likely to be made, it shall be the Magistrate’s duty to commit the accused for trial before the Royal Court.[11]

4      Committal for sentence[12]

If the accused has pleaded not guilty and the Magistrate, having heard the case, finds the accused guilty and if –

(a)     thereafter having examined the accused’s record of previous convictions; or

(b)     having regard to any other fact then brought to the Magistrate’s knowledge,

the Magistrate is of the opinion that there should be imposed a penalty or penalties in excess of those which the Magistrate is empowered by Article 3 to impose, or that a confiscation order is likely to be made, the Magistrate shall commit the accused in custody or on bail to the Inferior Number of the Royal Court to receive sentence.

5      Saving

Nothing in this Law shall derogate from the powers of the Attorney General to institute proceedings before the Royal Court in respect of any offence.

6      Power to hear accused through television links[13]

In any proceedings for an offence, the Court may, with the consent of the accused, direct that the accused shall be treated as being present at the proceedings if, during the proceedings, the accused is in prison or otherwise in detention and, either by way of a live television link or by another means, he or she is able to see and hear the Court and he or she is able also to be seen and heard by the Court.

7      Power to hear witnesses elsewhere than in court

Where a witness is, by reason of illness, unable to attend before the Magistrate’s Court to give evidence, the Court may adjourn elsewhere to receive the witness’s evidence and, in such case, the normal practice and procedure of the Court shall be followed.

8      [14]



9      Summons

(1)    Any person who has committed or is suspected of having committed an offence may, instead of being arrested, be summoned, at the instance of a Centenier having jurisdiction in the matter, to appear before the Magistrate’s Court.[15]

(2)    Such summons shall contain a statement of the specific offence with which the accused person is charged, together with such particulars as may be necessary for giving reasonable information as to the nature of the charge.

(3)    The statement of the offence shall describe the offence shortly, in ordinary language, avoiding as far as possible the use of technical terms and without necessarily stating all the essential elements of the offence, and, if the offence charged is one created by enactment, it shall also contain a reference to the provision of the enactment creating the offence.

(4)    After the statement of the offence, necessary particulars of the offence shall be set out in ordinary language, in which the use of technical terms shall not be required.

(5)    Any summons issued in pursuance of this Article shall be in whichever of the French or English languages is thought to be best understood by the accused person.

10    [16]

11    Errors in summons

No objection shall be taken or allowed to any summons for any alleged defect therein in substance or in form or for any variance between the summons and the evidence adduced on the part of the prosecution at the hearing, but if any such variance shall appear to the Magistrate to be such that the party so summoned and appearing has been thereby deceived or misled, it shall be lawful for the Magistrate, upon such terms as the Magistrate shall think fit, to adjourn the hearing of the case to some future day.

12    Failure to appear of party summoned

Where any person summoned in pursuance of Article 9 fails to appear at the time and place mentioned in the summons, the Magistrate, upon proof of the service of the summons, may order the arrest of the accused person so that the case may be heard and determined.

13    Saving

Nothing in this Part shall prevent the apprehension, detention, arrest or taking into custody of any person.



14    Proceedings by a legally qualified prosecutor[18]

The conduct of proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court may, with the approval of the Attorney General, be undertaken on behalf of the prosecution by –

(a)     an advocate; or

(b)     a solicitor or a person who has been admitted –

(i)     to the degree of the Utter Bar of one of the Inns of Court of England and Wales, or

(ii)    as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales,

and who is employed in the Law Officers Department.

15    Role of the Magistrate[19]

In proceedings conducted in accordance with Article 14, the Magistrate shall perform only a judicial role.



16    Definitions[21]

In this Part and in Part 6, unless the context otherwise requires –

“appeal aid certificate” has the meaning assigned thereto in Article 23;

“community service order" means an order made under the Criminal Justice (Community Service Orders) (Jersey) Law 2001;[22]

“probation order” means an order under the Loi (1937) sur l’attenuation des peines et sur la mise en liberté surveillée;[23]

“Royal Court” means the Inferior Number of the Royal Court.

17    Right of appeal[24]

(1)    A person convicted by the Magistrate’s Court may appeal to the Royal Court –

(a)     if the person pleaded guilty or admitted the facts, against the sentence;

(b)     if the person did not –

(i)     and was sentenced by the Magistrate, against the conviction or sentence,

(ii)    and was committed by the Magistrate for sentence under Article 4, against the conviction.[25]

(2)    A person sentenced by the Magistrate’s Court for an offence in respect of which a probation order or community service order has previously been made may appeal to the Royal Court against the sentence.[26]

(3)    In this Article, “sentence” includes any order made on conviction by the Magistrate’s Court, not being –

(a)     a probation order;

(b)     a community service order;

(c)     an order for the payment of costs;

(d)     an order made in pursuance of any enactment under which the Court has no discretion as to the making of the order or its terms;

(e)     a committal in default of payment of any sum of money, or for want of sufficient distress to satisfy any sum of money, or for failure to do or abstain from doing anything required to be done or left undone.[27]

18    Notice of appeal[28]

(1)    An appeal under Article 17 shall be commenced by the appellant’s giving notice of appeal to the Judicial Greffier within 8 days after the day on which the decision of the Magistrate’s Court was given.

(2)    A notice of appeal shall be in writing and shall state the general grounds of appeal.

(3)    Where it appears to the Royal Court, on application made in accordance with paragraph (4), that any person wishing to appeal to that Court from the Magistrate’s Court has failed to give the notice of appeal required by this Article within the period of 8 days prescribed by paragraph (1), the Royal Court may, if it thinks fit, direct that any such notice of appeal previously given by the applicant after the expiration of the said period, or any such notice to be given by the applicant within such further time as may be specified in the direction, shall be treated as if given within the said period.

(4)    An application for a direction under paragraph (3) shall be made in writing to the Judicial Greffier.

19    Abandonment of appeal[29]

(1)    An appellant may abandon an appeal under Article 17 by giving notice in writing to the Judicial Greffier, not later than the third day before the day fixed for the hearing of the appeal.

(2)    Where notice to abandon an appeal has been duly given by the appellant –

(a)     subject to anything already suffered or done by the appellant under the decision from which the appeal is made, such decision shall be enforceable forthwith by due process of law;

(b)     the Magistrate’s Court may, on the application of the prosecution, order the appellant to pay to the prosecution such costs as appear to the Magistrate’s Court to be just and reasonable in respect of expenses properly incurred by the prosecution in connection with the appeal before notice of the abandonment was given.

20    Procedure on appeals[30]

(1)    The Royal Court may direct that witnesses shall be heard before it at the hearing of any appeal under Article 17 in relation to any matter or thing relevant to the appeal and may require the production of the Magistrate’s notes of the trial.

(2)    If, at any stage of the proceedings, the Royal Court is of opinion that the appeal is frivolous or vexatious or brought for the purpose of delay, it may forthwith dismiss the appeal.

(3)    On any appeal under Article 17, the Royal Court may by order confirm, reverse or vary the decision of the Magistrate’s Court, or may remit the matter with its opinion thereon to the Magistrate’s Court, or may make such other order in the matter as it thinks just, and may by such order exercise any power which the Magistrate’s Court might have exercised, and any order so made shall have the like effect and may be enforced in like manner as if it had been made by the Magistrate’s Court.

(4)    The powers of the Royal Court under paragraph (3) shall be construed as including power to award any punishment, whether more or less severe than that awarded by the Magistrate’s Court, which that Court might have awarded.

(5)    On any appeal under Article 17 –

(a)     if the appeal is successful, the Royal Court may order the payment out of public funds of such sums as appear to the court reasonably sufficient to compensate the appellant for any expenses properly incurred –

(i)     in the prosecution of the appeal, and

(ii)    in the proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court; or

(b)     if the appeal is unsuccessful, the Royal Court may order the appellant to pay the whole or any part of the costs of the appeal.[31]

21    Statement of case by Magistrate[32]

(1)    Any person who was a party to any proceeding before the Magistrate’s Court or is aggrieved by the conviction, order, determination or other proceeding of the Magistrate’s Court may question the proceeding on the ground that it is wrong in law or is in excess of jurisdiction, by applying to the Magistrate to state a case for the opinion of the Royal Court on the question of law or jurisdiction involved:

Provided that a person shall not make an application under this Article in respect of a decision which by virtue of any enactment is final.

(2)    An application under paragraph (1) shall be made within 8 days after the day on which the decision of the Magistrate’s Court was given.

(3)    On the making of an application under this Article in respect of a decision, any right of the applicant to appeal under Article 17 against the decision shall cease.

(4)    If the Magistrate is of opinion that an application under this Article is frivolous, the Magistrate may refuse to state a case and, if the applicant so requires, shall give the applicant a certificate stating that the application has been refused:

Provided that the Magistrate shall not refuse to state a case if the application is made by or under the direction of the Attorney General.

(5)    Where the Magistrate refuses to state a case, the Royal Court may, on the application of the person who applied for the case to be stated, make an order requiring the Magistrate to state a case and it shall be the duty of the Magistrate to comply with the order.

(6)    The Magistrate shall not be required to state a case until the applicant has, if so required by the Magistrate’s Court, given an undertaking and given or found such security, in such amount as the Magistrate’s Court may determine, that the applicant will prosecute the appeal without delay and submit to the judgment of the Royal Court and pay such costs as that Court may award.[33]

22    Procedure on consideration of appeal by case stated[34]

(1)    On an appeal by case stated under Article 21, the Royal Court shall hear and determine the question or questions of law arising on the case and may reverse, affirm or amend the determination in respect of which the case has been stated, or remit the matter to the Magistrate’s Court, with its opinion thereon, or may make such other order in relation to the matter, and may make such orders as to costs, as may seem fit.

(2)    The Royal Court shall also have power, if it thinks fit, to cause the case to be sent back for amendment, and thereupon the case shall be amended accordingly, and judgment shall be delivered after it has been amended.

(3)    Any conviction, order, determination or other proceeding of the Magistrate’s Court varied by the Royal Court on an appeal by case stated, and any judgment or order of the Royal Court on such an appeal, may be enforced as if it were a decision of the Magistrate’s Court.

23    Provisions as to legal aid[35]

(1)    Where a person desires to appeal under Article 17 or to make or oppose an application for the statement of a case under Article 21 but has not sufficient means to enable the person to obtain legal aid for the purpose, the person may make application to the Magistrate for free legal aid.

(2)    If, on an application made to the Magistrate under paragraph (1), it appears to the Magistrate that the means of the applicant are insufficient to enable him or her to obtain legal aid, and that it is desirable in the interests of justice that the applicant should have free legal aid, the Magistrate may grant the applicant a certificate (in this Law referred to as “an appeal aid certificate”).

(3)    Where, on an application made under this Article, the Magistrate has refused to grant an appeal aid certificate, the applicant may make an application for the same purpose to the Royal Court, and the Royal Court shall have the like power, exercisable on the like grounds, of granting an appeal aid certificate as the Magistrate.

(4)    A person to whom an appeal aid certificate has been granted under this Article shall be entitled to free legal aid in the preparation and conduct of his or her case and to have an advocate assigned to the person for that purpose by the Bâtonnier.

(5)    [36]

(6)    When notice of the abandonment of an appeal has been given, an order under paragraph (5) may be made by the Royal Court.

(7)    If any person, for the purpose of obtaining free legal aid under this Article, makes any statement which he or she knows to be false in a material particular or recklessly makes any statement which is false in a material particular, the person shall be liable to a fine not exceeding £50 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

24    Bail on appeal or case stated[37]

(1)    Where a person has given notice of appeal under Article 17 or has applied for the statement of a case under Article 21 then, if the person is in custody, the Magistrate may release the person on his or her giving an undertaking and giving or finding such security in such amount as the Magistrate may determine –


(i)     if the person has given notice of appeal, that the person will attend before the Royal Court at the hearing of the appeal, or

(ii)    if the person has applied for the statement of a case, that the person will appear before the Magistrate’s Court within 7 days after the judgment of the Royal Court has been given, unless the determination in respect of which the case is stated is reversed by that judgment;

(b)     that the person will not leave Jersey until the appeal or application has been disposed of;

(c)     that the person will not consort with or molest any designated persons pending the disposal of the appeal or application;

(d)     if the person subsequently gives notice of abandonment of appeal, that he or she will immediately surrender to the Viscount,

and the Magistrate may further require the person to elect and name an address in Jersey at which summonses and notices respecting the appeal or application may be validly served on him or her.

(2)    The time during which a person is admitted to bail under this Article shall not count as part of any term of imprisonment under the person’s sentence; and any sentence of imprisonment imposed by the Magistrate’s Court or, on appeal, by the Royal Court, after the imposition of which a person is so admitted to bail, shall be deemed to begin to run or to be resumed as from the day on which the person is received in prison under the sentence.

(3)    If any person acts wilfully in breach of an undertaking given under paragraph (1), the person shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction by the Royal Court be liable to a fine not exceeding £50 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months, or to both such fine and such imprisonment, and to pay the costs of the prosecution, and the Court may direct that any term of imprisonment to which the person is sentenced under this paragraph shall not begin to run until after the end of any term of imprisonment which the person is then liable to serve.

(4)    Upon any such conviction, or, if the person liable to prosecution under paragraph (3) cannot be apprehended within the 3 months next following the contravention, upon an application made after the expiration of such last-mentioned period, the Royal Court may –

(a)     direct that any security given or found in connection with the undertaking shall be forfeited to Her Majesty or may, if such security was found by some person other than the person admitted to bail and the Court thinks it proper in the circumstances so to do, direct that the security or some part thereof shall be returned to the person by whom the same was found; and

(b)     dismiss the appeal or application without proceeding to the hearing thereof.

25    Suspension of licences and custody of goods pending appeal[38]

Where notice of appeal is given under Article 17 or an application for the statement of a case is made under Article 21 in respect of a decision which includes –

(a)     an order for the suspension or withdrawal of a licence or other permit, the Magistrate may, unless it be otherwise provided by the enactment under which the licence or permit was granted, direct that the order be suspended pending the disposal of the appeal or application;

(b)     an order for the confiscation of goods, the goods shall be delivered into the custody of the Judicial Greffier pending the disposal of the appeal or application.

26    Miscellaneous provisions[39]

(1)    Any appeal or application under this Part may be heard and determined by the Royal Court either in term or in vacation.

(2)    Any judgment or order of the Royal Court under this Part shall be final and conclusive, and shall not be subject to appeal to any other court.

(3)    Costs ordered to be paid under this Part to the prosecution may be recovered as a civil debt due to the States.[40]



27    Power of Royal Court[42]

Where an offender is committed by the Magistrate for sentence under Article 4, the Royal Court shall enquire into the circumstances of the case and shall have power to deal with the offender in any manner in which it could deal with the offender if he or she had just been convicted of the offence on indictment before the Court.

28    Appeal against sentence[43]

The offender may appeal against a sentence passed by the Court pursuant to Article 27 in accordance with the proviso to Article 24(c) of the Court of Appeal (Jersey) Law 1961,[44] as if the offender had been convicted on indictment.



29    Rules of Court[45]

The Superior Number of the Royal Court may make rules of court for or with respect to any of the following –

(a)     forms to be used for the purposes of this Law;

(b)     practice and procedure in any proceedings under this Law;

(c)     the rates or scales of payment of any costs which are payable under Article 19 and the conditions under which any such costs may be allowed;

(d)     the service of any application, summons, order, notice, or other instrument or document, issued under this Law or under rules of court made under this Article;

(e)     consequentially amending any enactment (other than this Article) that relates to any matter for or with respect to which rules of court are made under this Article;

(f)     generally carrying the purposes and provisions of this Law into effect.

30    Citation

This Law may be cited as the Magistrate’s Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Jersey) Law 1949.


Table of Legislation History


Year and number


Police Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Jersey) Law 1949[46]


1 August 1949 (Art. 22 in force 6 July 1949) (R&O.2421)

Police Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) (Jersey) Law 1960


21 December 1960

Police Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment No. 2) (Jersey) Law 1970


17 July 1970

Police Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment No. 3) (Jersey) Law 1979


1 February 1980

Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Jersey) Law 1984


27 January 1984

Police Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment No. 4) (Jersey) Law 1990


28 September 1990

Criminal Justice (Compensation Orders) (Jersey) Law 1994


22 April 1994

Criminal Justice (Young Offenders) (Jersey) Law 1994


22 April 1994

Police Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment No. 5) (Jersey) Law 1996


24 May 1996

Police Court (Change Of Name) (Jersey) Law 1996


1 April 1997 (R&O.9065)

Magistrate's Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment No. 6) (Jersey) Law 1997


21 November 1997

Magistrate's Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment No. 7) (Jersey) Law 1999


30 April 1999

Magistrate’s Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment No. 8) (Jersey) Law 2000


27 October 2000

Subordinate Legislation (Amendment No. 2) (Jersey) Law 2001


23 February 2001

Criminal Justice (Community Service Orders) (Jersey) Law 2001


1 June 2001 (R&O.78/2001)

Magistrate’s Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment No. 9) (Jersey) Law 2002


13 December 2002

Police Procedures and Criminal Evidence (Jersey) Law 2003


1 December 2004

Public Finances (Consequential Amendments) (Jersey) Regulations 2005


9 December 2005

Magistrate’s Court (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment No. 10) (Jersey) Law 2011


27 May 2011

Connétables (Miscellaneous Provisions – Consequential Amendments) (Jersey) Regulations 2014


1 August 2014 (R&O.80/2014)

Treason (Jersey) Law 2014


1 August 2014

Table of Renumbered Provisions










repealed by L.38/1996





























































21(1) Proviso

spent, omitted from this revised edition
















spent, omitted from this revised edition


spent, omitted from this revised edition



Table of Endnote References


by L.38/1996 the name of the Court (and this Law) was changed from Police Court to Magistrate’s Court


chapter 08.580


chapter 08.780


chapter 07.525


chapter 07.140


chapter 08.380

[7] Article 1(1)

amended by L.6/1994, L.43/2002, R&O.81/2014

[8] Article 1(2)

inserted by L.6/1994

[9] Article 2

amended by L.22/2014

[10] Article 3(1)

amended by L.28/1960, L.4/1970, L.3/1980, L.13/1990, L.35/2000

[11] Article 3(2)

amended by L.19/1996, L.43/2002

[12] Article 4

inserted by L.19/1996, amended by L.43/2002

[13] Article 6

inserted by L.43/2002

[14] Article 8

repealed by L.5/2003

[15] Article 9(1)

amended by L.4/1970, L.3/1980, L.13/1990, L.35/2000, R&O.81/2014

[16] Article 10

repealed by L.9/2011

[17] Part 4

heading inserted by L.12/1999

[18] Article 14

inserted by L.12/1999

[19] Article 15

inserted by L.12/1999

[20] Part 5

substituted by L.28/1960

[21] Article 16

inserted by L.28/1960, amended by L.19/1996, L.8/2001


chapter 08.180


chapter 08.020

[24] Article 17

inserted by L.28/1960

[25] Article 17(1)

amended by L.19/1996

[26] Article 17(2)

inserted by L.8/2001

[27] Article 17(3)

amended by L.8/2001

[28] Article 18

inserted by L.28/1960

[29] Article 19

inserted by L.28/1960

[30] Article 20

inserted by L.28/1960

[31] Article 20(5)

amended by L.46/1997

[32] Article 21

inserted by L.28/1960

[33] Article 21(6)

correction 2 May 2006:for the words “the Magistrate” in the 2nd place that they appear, substitute the words “the applicant”

[34] Article 22

inserted by L.28/1960

[35] Article 23

inserted by L.28/1960

[36] Article 23(5)

repealed by R&O.126/2005

[37] Article 24

inserted by L.28/1960

[38] Article 25

inserted by L.28/1960

[39] Article 26

inserted by L.28/1960

[40] Article 26(3)

substituted by R&O.126/2005

[41] Part 6

heading inserted by L.19/1996

[42] Article 27

inserted by L.19/1996

[43] Article 28

inserted by L.19/1996


chapter 07.245

[45] Article 29

substituted by L.9/2011


name changed by L.38/1996