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The Criminal Justice (Evidence) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

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Confessions

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32.—(1) In the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (NI 12) the following Article shall be inserted after Article 74—

Confessions may be given in evidence for co-accused

74A.(1) In any criminal proceedings a confession made by an accused person may be given in evidence for another person charged in the same proceedings (a co-accused) in so far as it is relevant to any matter in issue in the proceedings and is not excluded by the court in pursuance of this Article.

(2) If, in any criminal proceedings where a co-accused proposes to give in evidence a confession made by an accused person, it is represented to the court that the confession was or may have been obtained—

(a)by oppression of the person who made it; or

(b)in consequence of anything said or done which was likely, in the circumstances existing at the time, to render unreliable any confession which might be made by him in consequence thereof,

the court shall not allow the confession to be given in evidence for the co-accused except in so far as it is proved to the court on the balance of probabilities that the confession (notwithstanding that it may be true) was not so obtained.

(3) Before allowing a confession made by an accused person to be given in evidence for a co-accused in any criminal proceedings, the court may of its own motion require the fact that the confession was not obtained as mentioned in paragraph (2) above to be proved in the proceedings on the balance of probabilities.

(4) The fact that a confession is wholly or partly excluded in pursuance of this Article shall not affect the admissibility in evidence—

(a)of any facts discovered as a result of the confession; or

(b)where the confession is relevant as showing that the accused speaks, writes or expresses himself in a particular way, of so much of the confession as is necessary to show that he does so.

(5) Evidence that a fact to which this paragraph applies was discovered as a result of a statement made by an accused person shall not be admissible unless evidence of how it was discovered is given by him or on his behalf.

(6) Paragraph (5) above applies—

(a)to any fact discovered as a result of a confession which is wholly excluded in pursuance of this Article; and

(b)to any fact discovered as a result of a confession which is partly so excluded, if the fact is discovered as a result of the excluded part of the confession.

(7) In this Article “oppression” includes torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the use or threat of violence (whether or not amounting to torture)..

(2) Subject to paragraph (1), nothing in this Part makes a confession by a defendant admissible if it would not be admissible under Article 74 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.

(3) In paragraph (2) “confession” has the meaning given by Article 70 of that Order.

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