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

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Hearsay: main provisions

Admissibility of hearsay evidence

18.—(1) In criminal proceedings a statement not made in oral evidence in the proceedings is admissible as evidence of any matter stated if, but only if—

(a)any provision of this Part or any other statutory provision makes it admissible,

(b)any rule of law preserved by Article 22 makes it admissible,

(c)all parties to the proceedings agree to it being admissible, or

(d)the court is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice for it to be admissible.

(2) In deciding whether a statement not made in oral evidence should be admitted under paragraph (1)(d), the court must have regard to the following factors (and to any others it considers relevant)—

(a)how much probative value the statement has (assuming it to be true) in relation to a matter in issue in the proceedings, or how valuable it is for the understanding of other evidence in the case;

(b)what other evidence has been, or can be, given on the matter or evidence mentioned in sub-paragraph (a);

(c)how important the matter or evidence mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) is in the context of the case as a whole;

(d)the circumstances in which the statement was made;

(e)how reliable the maker of the statement appears to be;

(f)how reliable the evidence of the making of the statement appears to be;

(g)whether oral evidence of the matter stated can be given and, if not, why it cannot;

(h)the amount of difficulty involved in challenging the statement;

(i)the extent to which that difficulty would be likely to prejudice the party facing it.

(3) Nothing in this Part affects the exclusion of evidence of a statement on grounds other than the fact that it is a statement not made in oral evidence in the proceedings.

Statements and matters stated

19.—(1) In this Part references to a statement or to a matter stated are to be read as follows.

(2) A statement is any representation of fact or opinion made by a person by whatever means; and it includes a representation made in a sketch, photofit or other pictorial form.

(3) A matter stated is one to which this Part applies if (and only if) the purpose, or one of the purposes, of the person making the statement appears to the court to have been—

(a)to cause another person to believe the matter, or

(b)to cause another person to act or a machine to operate on the basis that the matter is as stated.

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