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


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

The preparatory hearing

8.—(1) At the preparatory hearing the judge may exercise any of the powers specified in this Article.

(2) The judge may adjourn a preparatory hearing from time to time.

(3) He may determine—

(a)any question as to the admissibility of evidence; and

(b)any other question of law relating to the case.

(4) He may order the prosecution—

(a)to supply the court and the defendant or, if there is more than one, each of them with a statement (a “case statement”) of the following—

(i)the principal facts of the prosecution case;

(ii)the witnesses who will speak to those facts;

(iii)any exhibits relevant to those facts;

(iv)any proposition of law on which the prosecution proposes to rely; and

(v)the consequences in relation to any of the counts in the indictment that appear to the prosecution to flow from the matters stated in pursuance of heads (i) to (iv);

(b)to prepare their evidence and other explanatory material in such a form as appears to him to be likely to aid comprehension by the jury and to supply it in that form to the court and to the defendant or, if there is more than one, to each of them;

(c)to give the court and the defendant or, if there is more than one, each of them notice of documents the truth of the contents of which ought in the prosecution’s view to be admitted and of any other matters which in their view ought to be agreed;

(d)to make any amendments of any case statement supplied in pursuance of an order under sub-paragraph (a) that appear to the court to be appropriate, having regard to objections made by the defendant or, if there is more than one, by any of them.

(5) Where—

(a)a judge has ordered the prosecution to supply a case statement; and

(b)the prosecution have complied with the order,

he may order the defendant or, if there is more than one, each of them—

(i)to give the court and the prosecution a statement in writing setting out in general terms the nature of his defence and indicating the principal matters on which he takes issue with the prosecution;

(ii)to give the court and the prosecution notice of any objections that he has to the case statement;

(iii)to inform the court and the prosecution of any point of law (including a point as to the admissibility of evidence) which he wishes to take and any authority on which he intends to rely for that purpose;

(iv)to give the court and the prosecution a notice stating the extent to which he agrees with the prosecution as to documents and other matters to which a notice under paragraph (4)(c) relates and the reason for any disagreement.

(6) Crown Court rules may provide that except to the extent that disclosure is required by section 1 of the Evidence of Alibi Act (Northern Ireland) 1972(1) a summary required by virtue of paragraph (5) need not disclose who will give evidence.

(7) A judge making an order under paragraph (5) shall warn the defendant or, if there is more than one, all of them of the possible consequence under Article 9(1) of not complying with it.

(8) If it appears to a judge that reasons given in pursuance of paragraph (5)(iv) are inadequate, he shall so inform the person giving them, and may require him to give further or better reasons.

(9) An order under this Article may specify the time within which any specified requirement contained in 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.

(10) An order or ruling made at or for the purposes of a preparatory hearing shall have effect during the trial, unless it appears to the judge, on application made to him during the trial, that the interests of justice require him to vary or discharge it.

(11) An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from any order or ruling of a judge under paragraph (3), but only with the leave of the judge or of the Court of Appeal.

(12) The judge may continue a preparatory hearing notwithstanding that leave to appeal has been granted under paragraph (11), but no jury shall be sworn until after the appeal has been determined or abandoned.

(13) On the termination of the hearing of an appeal, the Court of Appeal may confirm, reverse or vary the decision appealed against.

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