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District Court had jurisdiction to issue bench warrant

By: Hannah Godfrey BL

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High Court dismisses application for judicial review seeking to have a bench warrant quashed for lack of jurisdiction, on the grounds that: (a) jurisdiction was conferred on the District Court by the making of the complaint, and the fact that the remand period stated in the recognisance exceeded the 30 days prescribed by statute did not affect this substantive jurisdiction; and (b) the appropriate response to the applicant’s non-attendance in court was to issue a bench warrant to ensure that she would be brought before the court and informed of her right to a jury trial before a decision was made as to whether to deal with the case summarily or on indictment.

Application for judicial review - challenge to jurisdiction of the District Court where applicant was not remanded within 30 days - applicant on station bail - entered into recognisance to attend before District Court at a specific place and time that was more than 30 days in the future - applicant chose not to attend before District Court where solicitor had advised her that court lacked jurisdiction where remand was not within 30 days - bench warrant issued - appearance would have cured defect in remand period - whether failure to remand applicant to a sitting of the District Court within thirty days deprived the court of jurisdiction - whether the submissions made in the judicial review application went beyond the grounds for which leave was granted.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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