Guidance

Updates on other procedure rules for magistrates' courts and the Crown Court

Latest information about procedures rules for magistrates' courts and the Crown Court not replaced by the Criminal or Family Procedure Rules.

Applies to England and Wales

Other procedure rules for magistrates’ courts and for the Crown Court are made under section 144 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 and section 84 of the Senior Courts Act 1981.

Some of those rules used to apply to criminal and family cases, too. They stopped doing so when these acts were amended by the statutory provisions under which the Criminal Procedure Rules and the Family Procedure Rules are now made.

July 2021

Magistrates’ Courts (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2021

These Rules add new rules to the Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981 about (i) live link directions, (ii) the custody of documents submitted to the court, and (iii) supplying information and documents from court records. They make some other amendments consequent on other legislation to (i) the 1981 Rules, (ii) the Magistrates’ Courts (Freezing and Forfeiture of Terrorist Money in Bank and Building Society Accounts) Rules 2017, (iii) the Magistrates’ Courts (Freezing and Forfeiture of Money in Bank and Building Society Accounts) Rules 2017 and (iv) the Magistrates’ Courts (Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005, Part 5B) Rules 2019.

The rules came into force on 28 June 2021.

May 2021

Magistrates’ Courts (Amendment) Rules 2021

These Rules add a new rule to the Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981 about debt relief under the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/1311).

The rules came into force on 4 May 2021.

April 2020

Magistrates’ Courts (Functions of Authorised Persons – Civil Proceedings) Rules 2020

These Rules provide for the exercise of some judicial functions in civil proceedings by authorised members of court staff. The rules came into force on 6 April 2020.

March 2020

Magistrates’ Courts (Knife Crime Prevention Orders) Rules 2020

These Rules supply the procedure to follow on an application for a knife crime prevention order, on a review of an order and on an application to vary, renew or discharge an order. The rules came into force on 30 March 2020. The court’s power to make an order will be introduced gradually, after a pilot scheme.

January 2020

Magistrates’ Courts (Amendment) Rules 2019 come into force

The changes to the Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981 made by the Magistrates’ Courts (Amendment) Rules 2019 came into force on Wednesday 1 January 2020.

November 2019

Magistrates’ Courts (Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005, Part 5A, and Miscellaneous Amendments) Rules 2019

Magistrates’ Courts (Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005, Part 5B) Rules 2019

These two sets of Rules prescribe the procedure to be followed on an application to a magistrates’ court to give effect in England and Wales to an ‘external order’ under Part 5A or Part 5B of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005, which provides for cooperation with other countries in the enforcement of their orders relating to the freezing and recovery of the proceeds of crime. They came into force on 12 November 2019.

October 2019

Magistrates’ Courts (Amendment) Rules 2019

These Rules amend the Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981. They come into force on 1 January 2020. They:

  • remove the requirement for signatures on summonses and warrants
  • prescribe the form of warrants of arrest
  • prescribe the form of summonses, including a requirement to give the name and address of the court office
  • amend the rules about service of summonses to permit modern methods of communication such as email or cloud access and allow the court to specify additional forms of service
  • introduce a new rule about service of court orders, other than liability order
  • specify the date on which service of summonses and orders is treated as taking place

Read the guide to the amends.

Published 8 October 2019
Last updated 26 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updates for May and July 2021 added.

  2. First published.