The Courts of Justice Act, 1924

Jurisdiction of the District Court.

77.—The District Court shall have and exercise all powers, jurisdictions, and authorities which immediately before the 6th day of December, 1922, were vested by statute or otherwise in Justices or a Justice of the Peace sitting at Petty Sessions and also (by way of addition and not of exception) the following jurisdictions:—

A.—In Civil Cases—

(i) in contract and breach of contract where the claim does not exceed £25;

(ii) in tort, (except slander, libel, criminal conversation, seduction, slander of title, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment) and claims for damages unconnected with contract where the claim does not exceed £10: Provided that no justice shall have jurisdiction when a bona-fide question of title to any land the Poor Law Valuation whereof exceeds ten pounds is in issue and the act giving rise to the proceedings before him was done bona-fide in assertion of such title;

Provided also that the jurisdiction of a Justice shall not be ousted by reason of a question of title to land the Poor Law Valuation whereof does not exceed £10 being brought into issue, but in such case the decision of the Justice shall not operate as an estoppel in or bar to a suit in any court in relation to such land;

(iii) in ejectment for non-payment of rent or overholding in any class of tenancy where the rent does not exceed such sum as amounts or might amount to £26 per annum;

(iv) in proceedings at the suit of the State or any Minister or Government Department or any officer thereof to recover any sum not exceeding £25 due to or recoverable by or on behalf of the State, whether by way of penalty, debt, or otherwise, and notwithstanding any enactment now in force requiring such sum to be sued for in the High Court or other superior court.

B.—In Criminal Cases—in any of the following cases, if the Justice shall be of opinion that the facts proved against the accused constitute a minor offence fit to be tried summarily and the accused (inquiry having been made of him by the Justice) does not object to being so tried:—

(i) in larceny, receiving, embezzlement or false pretences—jurisdiction where the money or property involved does not exceed £20 in value;

(ii) in assault—jurisdiction in assault occasioning actual bodily harm;

(iii) in indecent assault—any such case may be heard in camera and when so heard, if the assaulted person is a female, one other female person nominated by the assaulted person shall be entitled to be present in court during the whole hearing of the case;

(iv) in burglary or housebreaking or attempts at either;

(v) in riot or unlawful assembly—jurisdiction in cases in which the Justice shall be of opinion that the crime was not in furtherance of an organised conspiracy or if it was in furtherance of an organised conspiracy that such conspiracy is at an end;

(vi) in malicious damage to property—jurisdiction in cases of damage not exceeding £20:

Provided that a sentence of six months' imprisonment with or without hard labour shall be the maximum sentence to be imposed in any of the said cases disposed of summarily: Provided also that any criminal cases not disposed of summarily shall be sent forward for trial (subject as is in this Act otherwise provided) if within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court to the Judge of the Circuit or of one of the Circuits (to be determined by the Justice) within which the District lies, and, if not within such jurisdiction to the next ensuing Court of the High Court Circuit for the District or to the Central Criminal Court in cases within its ambit.

C.—In granting certificates for spirit and other licences—all licensing jurisdiction heretofore exercised by Justices of the Peace at Petty Sessions or at Quarter Sessions or by Courts of Quarter Sessions or by Recorders or by Justices of the Peace out of Petty Sessions except the power of granting new licences conferred on the Circuit Court by Section 50 of this Act.