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The Criminal Justice (Serious Fraud)(Northern Ireland) Order 1988

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Power to order preparatory hearing

6.—(1) Where it appears to a judge of the Crown Court that the evidence on an indictment reveals a case of fraud of such seriousness and complexity that substantial benefits are likely to accrue from a hearing (in this Order referred to as a “preparatory hearing”) before the jury are sworn, for the purpose of—

(a)identifying issues which are likely to be material to the verdict of the jury;

(b)assisting their comprehension of any such issues;

(c)expediting the proceedings before the jury; or

(d)assisting the judge’s management of the trial,

he may order that such a hearing shall be held.

(2) A judge may make an order under paragraph (1) on the application either of the prosecution or of the person indicted or, if the indictment charges a number of persons, any of them, or of his own motion.

(3) If a judge orders a preparatory hearing, he may also order the prosecution to prepare and serve any documents that appear to him to be relevant and whose service could be ordered at the preparatory hearing by virtue of this Order or Crown Court rules.

(4) Where—

(a)a judge has made an order under paragraph (3); and

(b)the prosecution have complied with it,

the judge may order the person indicted or, if the indictment charges a number of persons, any of them to prepare and serve any documents that appear to him to be relevant and whose service could be so ordered at the preparatory hearing.

(5) An order under this Article may specify the time within which it is to be complied with, but Crown Court rules may make provision as to the minimum or maximum time that may be specified for compliance.

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