(1) A committal mention hearing must be held—
(a) in the case of a sexual offence, within 3 months after the commencement of the criminal proceeding for the offence; or
(b) in the case of any other offence, within 6 months after the commencement of the criminal proceeding for the offence—
or any other period fixed by the Magistrates' Court under subsection (2).
Section 6(1) sets out how a criminal proceeding is commenced.
(2) The Magistrates' Court may fix a longer period for the holding of a committal mention hearing if the court is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice that another period should be fixed having regard to—
(a) the seriousness of the offence; and
(b) the reason a longer period is required.
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply—
(a) if the accused has failed to attend in accordance with the conditions of his or her bail; or
(b) if a warrant to arrest the accused has been issued and at the end of the period referred to in subsection (1)(a) or (b) (as the case requires) the accused has not been arrested; or
(c) if the accused requests that a committal mention hearing be held after the period referred to in subsection (1)(a) or (b) (as the case requires) and the Magistrates' Court is satisfied that in the interests of justice the request should be granted.
(4) If a committal mention hearing has not been held before the expiry of the period referred to in subsection (1)(a) or (b) (as the case requires), or any longer period fixed under subsection (2), the Magistrates' Court, on the application of the accused, may order the accused to be discharged.