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The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Live links in criminal proceedings

This section has no associated Explanatory Memorandum

10.—(1) A witness (other than the defendant) may, if the court so directs, give evidence through a live link in the following criminal proceedings.

(2) They are—

(a)a summary trial;

(b)an appeal to a county court arising out of such a trial;

(c)a preliminary investigation or preliminary inquiry into an indictable offence;

(d)a trial on indictment;

(e)an appeal to the Court of Appeal;

(f)the hearing of a reference under section 10 or 12 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 (c. 35);

(g)a hearing before a magistrates' court or the Crown Court which is held after the defendant has entered a plea of guilty; and

(h)a hearing before the Court of Appeal under section 80 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44).

(3) A direction may be given under this Article—

(a)on an application by a party to the proceedings; or

(b)of the court’s own motion.

(4) But a direction may not be given under this Article unless—

(a)the court is satisfied that it is in the interests of the efficient or effective administration of justice for the person concerned to give evidence in the proceedings through a live link;

(b)it has been notified by the Secretary of State that suitable facilities for receiving evidence through a live link are available in the county court division in which it appears to the court that the proceedings will take place; and

(c)that notification has not been withdrawn.

(5) The withdrawal of such a notification is not to affect a direction given under this Article before that withdrawal.

(6) In deciding whether to give a direction under this Article the court must consider all the circumstances of the case.

(7) Those circumstances include in particular—

(a)the availability of the witness;

(b)the need for the witness to attend in person;

(c)the importance of the witness’s evidence to the proceedings;

(d)the views of the witness;

(e)the suitability of the facilities at the place where the witness would give evidence through a live link;

(f)whether a direction might tend to inhibit any party to the proceedings from effectively testing the witness’s evidence.

(8) The court must state in open court its reasons for refusing an application for a direction under this Article and, if it is a magistrates' court, must cause them to be entered in the Order Book.

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