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Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962

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105Prosecution and trial of electoral misdemeanours.N.I.

(1)A corrupt practice shall be an indictable offence and shall not be triable before a county court; but, subject to sub-section (2), a person charged with a corrupt practice may if he so consents be tried summarily[F1 in accordance with Articles 45 and 46 of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981]. A person charged with personation shall not be convicted by a court of summary jurisdiction or, save by an election court, be committed for trial except on the evidence of not less than two credible witnesses.

(2)A person shall not be summarily prosecuted for any corrupt practice where there may be occasion to exercise the powers conferred by sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) of section one hundred and thirteen.

(3)A person charged with an illegal practice shall be tried summarily; and on a prosecution for an illegal practice it shall be sufficient to allege that the person charged was guilty of an illegal practice.

(4)Any person charged with a corrupt practice may, if the circumstances warrant such a finding, be found guilty of an illegal practice (which misdemeanour shall for that purpose be an indictable offence); and any person charged with an illegal practice may be found guilty of that misdemeanour notwithstanding that the act constituting the misdemeanour amounted to a corrupt practice, and a person charged with illegal payment, illegal employment or illegal hiring under paragraph 29, paragraph 30 or paragraph 31 of the Ninth Schedule may be found guilty of that offence notwithstanding that the act constituting the offence amounted to a corrupt or illegal practice.

(5)A person charged with an electoral offence other than the offences specified in paragraphs 24 to 26 of the Ninth Schedule shall be tried summarily and a person charged with any of the electoral offences specified in paragraphs 24 to 26 of that Schedule may be tried either on indictment or summarily.

(6)Subject to sub-section (3) of section one hundred and eight, an election court may in addition to any other functions conferred by this Act exercise for the purposes of this Act the powers of a court of summary jurisdiction.

(7)In this section the expression indictment includes criminal information.

[F2(8)In respect of the prosecution and trial of an electoral misdemeanour committed or alleged to have been committed at a local election, this section shall have effect subject to the following amendments:

(a)in subsection (1) the words, subject to subsection (2), and from A person charged with personation to the end of the subsection shall be omitted;

(b)subsections (2) and (6) shall be omitted; and

(c)in subsections (5) for the words the offences specified in paragraphs 24 to 26 there shall be substituted the offences specified in paragraph 26(2) and for the words charged with any of the electoral offences specified in paragraphs 24 to 26 there shall be substituted to whom section 111(2A)(c)(i) applies charged with the offence specified in paragraph 26(2).]

F11981 NI 26

F2SI 1987/168

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