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The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Convictions and acquittals

Proof of convictions and acquittals

71.—(1) Where in any criminal proceedings the fact that a person has in the United Kingdom been convicted or acquitted of an offence otherwise than by a Service court is admissible in evidence, it may be proved by producing a certificate of conviction or, as the case may be, of acquittal relating to that offence, and proving that the person named in the certificate as having been convicted or acquitted of the offence is the person whose conviction or acquittal of the offence is to be proved.

(2) For the purposes of this Article a certificate of conviction or of acquittal—

(a)shall, as regards a conviction or acquittal on indictment, consist of a certificate, signed by the clerk of the court where the conviction or acquittal took place, giving the substance and effect (omitting the formal parts) of the indictment and of the conviction or acquittal; and

(b)shall, as regards a conviction or acquittal on a summary trial, consist of a copy of the conviction or of the dismissal of the information, signed by the clerk of the court where the conviction or acquittal took place or by the clerk of the court, if any, to which a memorandum of the conviction or acquittal was sent;

and a document purporting to be a duly signed certificate of conviction or acquittal under this Article shall be taken to be such a certificate unless the contrary is proved.

(3) References in this Article to the clerk of a court include references to any other person having the custody of the court record.

(4) The method of proving a conviction or acquittal authorised by this Article shall be in addition to and not to the exclusion of any other authorised manner of proving a conviction or acquittal.

Conviction as evidence of commission of offence

72.—(1) In any criminal proceedings the fact that a person other than the accused has been convicted of an offence by or before any court in the United Kingdom or by a Service court outside the United Kingdom shall be admissible in evidence for the purpose of proving, where to do so is relevant to any issue in those proceedings, that that person committed that offence, whether or not any other evidence of his having committed that offence is given.

(2) In any criminal proceedings in which by virtue of this Article a person other than the accused is proved to have been convicted of an offence by or before any court in the United Kingdom or by a Service court outside the United Kingdom, he shall be taken to have committed that offence unless the contrary is proved.

(3) In any criminal proceedings where evidence is admissible of the fact that the accused has committed an offence, in so far as that evidence is relevant to any matter in issue in the proceedings for a reason other than a tendency to show in the accused a disposition to commit the kind of offence with which he is charged, if the accused is proved to have been convicted of the offence—

(a)by or before any court in the United Kingdom; or

(b)by a Service court outside the United Kingdom,

he shall be taken to have committed that offence unless the contrary is proved.

(4) Nothing in this Article shall prejudice—

(a)the admissibility in evidence of any conviction which would be admissible apart from this Article; or

(b)the operation of any statutory provision whereby a conviction or a finding of fact in any criminal proceedings is for the purposes of any other criminal proceedings made conclusive evidence of any fact.

Provisions supplementary to Article 72

73.—(1) Where evidence that a person has been convicted of an offence is admissible by virtue of Article 72, then without prejudice to the reception of any other admissible evidence for the purpose of identifying the facts on which the conviction was based—

(a)the contents of any document which is admissible as evidence of the conviction; and

(b)the contents of the complaint, information, indictment or charge-sheet on which the person in question was convicted,

shall be admissible in evidence for that purpose.

(2) Where in any criminal proceedings the contents of any document are admissible in evidence by virtue of paragraph (1), a copy of that document, or of the material part of it, purporting to be certified or otherwise authenticated by or on behalf of the court or authority having custody of that document shall be admissible in evidence and shall be taken to be a true copy of that document or part unless the contrary is shown.

(3) Nothing in any of the following—

(a)section 8 of the Probation Act (Northern Ireland) 1950(1) (under which a conviction leading to probation or discharge is to be disregarded except as mentioned in that section);

(b)section 13 of the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973(2) (which makes provision similar to section 8 of that Act of 1950); and

(c)section 392 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975(3) (which makes similar provision in respect of convictions on indictment in Scotland);

shall affect the operation of Article 72; and for the purposes of that Article any order made by a court of summary jurisdiction in Scotland under section 182 or 183 of the said Act of 1975 shall be treated as a conviction.

(4) Nothing in Article 72 shall be construed as rendering admissible in any criminal proceedings evidence of any conviction other than a subsisting one.

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