Search Legislation

Criminal Damage (Northern Ireland) Order 1977

What Version

 Help about what version
  • Latest available (Revised)
  • Original (As made)

Advanced Features

 Help about advanced features

Changes to legislation:

There are currently no known outstanding effects for the Criminal Damage (Northern Ireland) Order 1977, Section 7. Help about Changes to Legislation


Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. At the current time any known changes or effects made by subsequent legislation have been applied to the text of the legislation you are viewing by the editorial team. Please see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for details regarding the timescales for which new effects are identified and recorded on this site.

“Without lawful excuse”N.I.

7.—(1) This Article applies to any offence under Article 3(1) or Article 3(1) and (3) and any offence under Article 4 or 5 other than one involving a threat by the person charged to destroy or damage property in a way which he knows is likely to endanger the life of another or involving an intent by the person charged to use or cause or permit the use of something in his custody or under his control so to destroy or damage property.

(2) A person charged with an offence to which this Article applies shall, whether or not he would be treated for the purposes of this Order as having a lawful excuse apart from this paragraph, be treated for those purposes as having a lawful excuse—

(a)if at the time of the act or acts alleged to constitute the offence he believed that the person or persons whom he believed to be entitled to consent to the destruction of or damage to the property in question had so consented, or would have so consented to it if he or they had known of the destruction or damage and its circumstances; or

(b)if he destroyed or damaged or threatened to destroy or damage the property in question or, in the case of a charge of an offence under Article 5, intended to use or cause or permit the use of something to destroy or damage it, in order to protect property belonging to himself or another or a right or interest in property which was or which he believed to be vested in himself or another, and at the time of the act or acts alleged to constitute the offence he believed—

(i)that the property, right or interest was in immediate need of protection; and

(ii)that the means of protection adopted or proposed to be adopted were or would be reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.

(3) For the purposes of this Article it is immaterial whether a belief is justified or not if it is honestly held.

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (2) a right or interest in property includes any right or privilege in or over land, whether created by grant, licence or otherwise.

(5) This Article shall not be construed as casting doubt on any defence recognised by law as a defence to criminal charges.

Back to top


Print Options


Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.


See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.


Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources