§ "Power of High Court to vary committal in default.
§ 43ZA.—(1) Where the High Court quashes the committal of a person to prison or detention by a magistrates' court or the Crown Court for—
- (a) a default in paying a sum adjudged to be paid by a conviction; or
- (b) want of sufficient distress to satisfy such a sum,
§ (2) If the High Court commits him to prison or detention, the period of imprisonment or detention shall, unless the High Court otherwise directs, be treated as having begun when the person was committed by the magistrates' court or the Crown Court (except that any time during which he was released on bail shall not be counted as part of the period)."").
§ Lord Falconer of Thoroton
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 92. I shall speak also to Amendment No. 93.
Amendment No. 92 adds a new clause to amend the Supreme Court Act 1981 to enable the High Court to set an appropriate penalty where a magistrates' court or the Crown Court has unlawfully passed a sentence of imprisonment or detention on a fine defaulter. The amendment is required because of a loophole in Section 43 of the Supreme Court Act 1981, which came to light in a recent judgment by Lord Justice Brooke and Mr Justice Sedley in the case of Regina v St Helen's 472 Justices ex parte Marlene Ann Jones and others. The effect of the amendment is that the High Court could quash an incorrect committal and reconsider the case in the light of the present circumstances of the wrongfully committed offender.
Amendment No. 93 moves Clause 51 in order to group together clauses related to the High Court in a more logical structure. I commend the amendment to the House.
§ Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 92.—(Lord Falconer of Thoroton.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.