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The Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1999

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

3.—(1) In Article 78(1) (accused to give evidence on oath), after “if he gives evidence, he shall do so” insert “(subject to Articles 33 and 34 of the Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1999)”.

(2) In Article 79 (competence and compellability of accused’s spouse) omit paragraphs (1) and (7).

(3) For paragraphs (2) to (4) of Article 79 substitute—

(2) In any proceedings the wife or husband of a person charged in the proceedings shall, subject to paragraph (4), be compellable to give evidence on behalf of that person.

(2A) In any proceedings the wife or husband of a person charged in the proceedings shall, subject to paragraph (4), be compellable—

(a)to give evidence on behalf of any other person charged in the proceedings but only in respect of any specified offence with which that other person is charged; or

(b)to give evidence for the prosecution but only in respect of any specified offence with which any person is charged in the proceedings.

(3) In relation to the wife or husband of a person charged in any proceedings, an offence is a specified offence for the purposes of paragraph (2A) if—

(a)it involves an assault on, or injury or a threat of injury to, the wife or husband or a person who was at the material time under the age of 16;

(b)it is a sexual offence alleged to have been committed in respect of a person who was at the material time under that age; or

(c)it consists of attempting or conspiring to commit, or of aiding, abetting, counselling, procuring or inciting the commission of, an offence falling within sub-paragraph (a) or (b).

(4) No person who is charged in any proceedings shall be compellable by virtue of paragraph (2) or (2A) to give evidence in the proceedings.

(4A) References in this Article to a person charged in any proceedings do not include a person who is not, or is no longer, liable to be convicted of any offence in the proceedings (whether as a result of pleading guilty or for any other reason)..

(4) In paragraph (5) of Article 79, omit “competent and” and, in the shoulder-note, omit “Competence and”.

(5) After Article 79 insert—

Rule where accused’s spouse not compellable

79A.  The failure of the wife or husband of a person charged in any proceedings to give evidence in the proceedings shall not be made the subject of any comment by the prosecution..

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