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Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Offender levy imposed by court

Offender levy imposed by court

1.—(1) This section applies where a court dealing with an offender for one or more offences imposes a sentence which is or includes—

(a)a sentence of imprisonment;

(b)a sentence of detention in a young offenders centre;

(c)a sentence of detention under Article 13(4)(b) or 14(5) of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 (NI 1);

(d)a sentence of detention under Article 45(1) of the Criminal Justice (Children) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (NI 9);

(e)a community order (within the meaning given by Article 2(2) of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (NI 24)); or

(f)a fine.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), the court must, in addition, order the offender to pay an amount (“the offender levy”) determined under section 6.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply where the offender is an individual under the age of 18.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply by virtue of a sentence mentioned in subsection (1)(a) or (b) if—

(a)that sentence is to be served concurrently with another such sentence imposed on the offender on a previous occasion; and

(b)the offender levy has been imposed under this section in relation to that other sentence.

(5) Where the court considers—

(a)that it would be appropriate to make a compensation order under Article 14 of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1994 (NI 15), but

(b)that the offender has insufficient means to pay both the offender levy and appropriate compensation,

the court must reduce the offender levy accordingly (if necessary to nil).

(6) A sentence mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b) includes a sentence which is suspended under section 18 of the Treatment of Offenders Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 (c. 29).

(7) The Department may by order amend subsection (1).

(8) No order shall be made under subsection (7) unless a draft of the order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, the Assembly.

(9) In Article 29 of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (fixing of fines) after paragraph (3) insert—

(3A) In applying paragraph (3), a court must not reduce the amount of a fine on account of any offender levy it orders the offender to pay under section 1 of the Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2011, except to the extent that the offender has insufficient means to pay both..

Enforcement and treatment of offender levy imposed by court

2.—(1) An offender levy imposed by a court on an offender is enforceable in the same manner as any fine which has been, or might have been, imposed by the court in dealing with the offender.

(2) Accordingly any statutory provision referring (in whatever terms) to the enforcement of a fine imposed by a court shall have effect in relation to the enforcement of an offender levy imposed by that court as it has effect in relation to the enforcement of that fine.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) are subject to—

(a)any provision made by regulations under subsection (4); and

(b)section 4.

(4) The Department may make such regulations with respect to the enforcement of an offender levy imposed by a court as it considers appropriate.

(5) Regulations under subsection (4) may in particular—

(a)modify any statutory provision as it has effect by virtue of subsection (2) in relation to an offender levy imposed by a court; and

(b)make such incidental, supplemental or consequential provision (including provision to modify a statutory provision) as appears to the Department to be expedient.

(6) In subsection (5) “modify” includes the making of additions, omissions, exceptions and amendments.

(7) Except as provided by or under this Part, amounts in respect of offender levies imposed by a court are to be paid, collected and treated in the same manner as amounts in respect of fines so imposed.

Deduction of offender levy imposed by court from prisoner's earnings

3.—(1) In this section—

(a)“a relevant prisoner” means a person serving a sentence of imprisonment or detention who is liable to pay an offender levy imposed by a court;

(b)“earnings”, in relation to a relevant prisoner, means money earned by that prisoner for work carried out under rule 51 of the Prison and Young Offender Centre Rules (Northern Ireland) 1995 (SR 1995/8).

(2) The governor of a prison or young offenders centre, or a person authorised by the governor, may make deductions from the earnings of a relevant prisoner for the purpose of discharging or reducing the liability of that prisoner to pay the offender levy.

(3) Deductions under this section are to be made at such rate and at such times and subject to such other conditions as the Department may direct.

Offender levy imposed by court: other supplementary provisions

4.—(1) A court shall not, at the time of sentencing an offender, exercise any power to issue a warrant committing the offender to prison in respect of the non-payment of an offender levy imposed by the court.

(2) Where an offender is liable to pay both a fine and an offender levy imposed by a court, any amount paid by an offender in respect of that liability shall be treated as first discharging the liability to pay the offender levy.

(3) A court may remit all or part of an offender levy imposed by it on an offender if—

(a)the court in dealing with the offender imposed both a fine and an offender levy;

(b)the offender has defaulted in paying the fine; and

(c)in consequence of that default the court either—

(i)commits that person to prison; or

(ii)makes a supervised activity order under Article 45 of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 (NI 1).

(4) If—

(a)the court in dealing with the offender imposed both a determinate sentence of imprisonment or detention (other than a suspended sentence) and an offender levy; and

(b)the liability of the offender to pay the offender levy was reduced, but not discharged, by deductions made under section 3,

the levy is, by virtue of this subsection, discharged on the expiry of the sentence.

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