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The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2003

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Evidence through live linksN.I.

31.  After Article 80 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (NI 12) (advance notice of expert evidence in the Crown Court) there shall be inserted the following Article—

Evidence through live links

80A.(1) In this Article live link means a live television link or other arrangement whereby a witness, while absent from the courtroom or other place where the proceedings are being held, is able to see and hear a person there and to be seen and heard by—

(a)the judge and the jury (if there is one);

(b)legal representatives acting in the proceedings; and

(c)any interpreter or other person appointed to assist the witness.

(2) Where two or more legal representatives are acting for a party to the proceedings, paragraph (l)(b) is to be regarded as satisfied in relation to those representatives if the witness is able at all material times to see and be seen by at least one of them.

(3) Where the court gives leave, a witness who is outside the United Kingdom may give evidence through a live link in proceedings to which this Article applies.

(4) This Article applies—

(a)to preliminary investigations or preliminary inquiries into indictable offences;

(b)to trials on indictment;

(c)to appeals to the Court of Appeal; and

(d)to hearings of references under section 10 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 (c. 35).

(5) A statement made on oath by a person outside the United Kingdom and given in evidence through a link by virtue of this Article shall be treated for the purposes of Article 3 of the Perjury (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (NI 19) as having been made in the proceedings in which it is given in evidence.

(6) Where in proceedings before a magistrates' court—

(a)evidence is given by means of a live link by virtue of this Article, but

(b)suitable facilities for receiving such evidence are not available at any court-house in which that court can (apart from this paragraph) lawfully sit,

the court may sit for the purposes of the whole or any part of those proceedings at a place designated by the Lord Chancellor as a place having facilities to receive evidence given through a live link.

(7) Without prejudice to any power to make such rules, magistrates' courts rules, Crown Court rules and rules of court may make such provision as appears to the authority making them to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of this Article.

(8) References in this Article to a person being able to see or hear, or be seen or heard by, another person are to be taken as not applying to the extent that either of them is unable to see or hear by reason of any impairment of sight or hearing..

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