Part 1 Principal Amendments


The Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 is amended as follows.


(1)     Section 17A (initial indication as to plea) is amended as follows.

(2)     For paragraph (b) of subsection (4) there is substituted—

“(b)     he may (unless section 17D(2) below were to apply) be committed [for sentence] to the Crown Court under section 3 or (if applicable) 3A of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 if the court is of such opinion as is mentioned in subsection (2) of the applicable section.”

(3)     After subsection (9) there is inserted—

“(10)     If in respect of the offence the court receives a notice under section 51B or 51C of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (which relate to serious or complex fraud cases and to certain cases involving children respectively), the preceding provisions of this section and the provisions of section 17B below shall not apply, and the court shall proceed in relation to the offence in accordance with section 51 or, as the case may be, section 51A of that Act.”


After section 17C there is inserted—

(1)     If—

(a)     the offence is a scheduled offence (as defined in section 22(1) below);

(b)     the court proceeds in relation to the offence in accordance with section 17A(6) or 17B(2)(c) above; and

(c)     the court convicts the accused of the offence,

the court shall consider whether, having regard to any representations made by him or by the prosecutor, the value involved (as defined in section 22(10) below) appears to the court to exceed the relevant sum (as specified

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