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Vanuatu Sessional Legislation

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Judicial Services and Courts (Amendment) Act 2003

Commencement: 2 June 2003


NO. 4 OF 2003

Arrangement of Sections

  1. Amendments
  2. Commencement



Assent: 21st July, 2003
Commencement: See section 2

NO. 4 OF 2003

An Act to amend the Judicial Services and Courts Act No. 54 of 2000

Be it enacted by the President and Parliament as follows-

  1. Amendments

The Judicial Services and Courts Act No. 54 of 2000 is amended as set out in the Schedule.

  1. Commencement

This Act commences immediately after the commencement of the Judicial Services and Courts Act No. 54 of 2000.



  1. Section 1 (definition of judicial officer)

Repeal the definition, substitute

"judicial officer means a judge or magistrate."

  1. Section 1 (definition of magistrate)

Repeal the definition, substitute

"magistrate means a magistrate appointed under section 18, and includes:

(a) the chief magistrate; and

(b) any senior magistrate; and

(c) any acting magistrate, senior magistrate or chief magistrate.".
  1. Section 1 (definition of master)

Repeal the definition.

  1. Section 1

Insert in its correct alphabetical position

"senior magistrate means a magistrate appointed as a senior magistrate under section 18.".

  1. Subsection 2(2)

Delete "must" (first occurring), substitute "may".

  1. Subparagraph 4(1)(a)(iii)

Delete ", the master".

7. Paragraph 4(1)(h)

Repeal the paragraph.

  1. Subsection 4(4)

Repeal the subsection, substitute

"In undertaking its functions, the Commission may consult with representatives of the legal profession and any other person in its discretion.".

9. At the end of subsection 14(2)


"A magistrate must not impose a sentence greater than imprisonment for 2 years.".

10. At the end of section 14


"(4) A senior magistrate may on application or at his or her discretion hear and determine in a summary way criminal proceedings for an offence for which the maximum punishment does not exceed imprisonment for 10 years. However, a senior magistrate must not impose a sentence greater than imprisonment for 5 years.

(5) Despite subsections (2) and (4), a magistrate may sentence consecutively an offender in respect of 2 or more offences to a term of imprisonment exceeding 2 years, but not exceeding 4 years.

(6) The Supreme Court may, by order made under its seal, invest the Magistrates Court with jurisdiction to try any proceeding in respect of a particular class of offence or proceeding or a particular case.".

11. Paragraph 18(2)(a)

Delete "and", substitute "or".

12. Section 18

Add at the end

"(4) The President must appoint senior magistrates on the recommendation of the Commission which must be based on merit.

(5) The Commission must not recommend a person for appointment as a senior magistrate unless the person has at least 3 years experience as a magistrate.

(6) A senior magistrate may, with the written approval of the Commission, resign as a senior magistrate, but remain a magistrate.".

13. Subsection 19(5)

Delete "chief magistrate", substitute "chief magistrate, subject to prior consultation with the Chief Justice and the Registrar".

14. Paragraph 19(5)(a)

Delete "managing", substitute "the management of".

  1. Paragraph 20(3)(b)

Delete "28", substitute "23".

  1. Paragraph 23(4)(a)

Delete "serious", substitute "gross".

17. Paragraph 23(4)(b)

Add at the end

"; or

(c) if the magistrate is convicted and sentenced on a criminal charge; or

(d) for professional incompetence.".

18. Subsection 25(2)

Delete "the chief magistrate", substitute "a magistrate".

19. Subsection 25(3)

Delete "The chief magistrate", substitute "a magistrate".

20. Subsections 29(1) and (6)

Delete "managing", substitute "the management of".

21. Subsection 29(3)

(a) Delete "sole".

(b) Delete "management", substitute "the management of".

22. Paragraph 30(2)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute

"(a) is to proceed on the face of the record of the Magistrates Court; and".

23. Subsection 30(2)

Add at the end

"; and

(f) may receive evidence".

24. Subsection 30(3)

Repeal the subsection.

25. Subsection 33(3)

Delete "must", substitute "may".

26. Subsection 33(5)

Add at the end "unless the Commission otherwise directs.".

27. Subsections 34(2) and (3)

Repeal the subsections.

28. Subsections 35(5) and (6)

Repeal the subsections.

29. Subsection 41(2)

Repeal the subsection.

30. Section 42

Repeal the section.

31. Subsection 55(4)

Delete "has been issued by another person with the jurisdiction to do so", substitute "on its face appears to have been issued by another person with the jurisdiction to do so".

32. Part 1 of Schedule (Table)

Delete item 5.

33. Part 2 of Schedule (Table)

After item 1, insert


Senior magistrate or acting senior magistrate
VT 1,597,944
VT 1,683,048



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