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The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Use of live link at sentencing hearings

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81.—(1) This Article applies where an accused person is convicted in the course of proceedings for an offence in a magistrates' court or the Crown Court.

(2) If it appears to the court by or before which the accused is convicted that it is likely that he will be held in custody during any sentencing hearing for the offence, the court may give a live link direction under this Article in relation to that hearing

(3) A live link direction under this Article is a direction requiring the accused, if he is being held in custody during the hearing, to attend it through a live link from the place at which he is being held.

(4) A live link direction under this Article—

(a)may be given by the court of its own motion or on an application by a party; and

(b)may be given in relation to all subsequent sentencing hearings before the court or to such hearing or hearings as may be specified or described in the direction.

(5) The court may not give a live link direction under this Article unless—

(a)the offender has given his consent to the direction; and

(b)the court is satisfied that it is not contrary to the interests of justice to give the direction.

(6) The court may rescind a live link direction given under this Article at any time before or during a hearing to which it relates if it appears to the court to be in the interests of justice to do so (but this does not affect the court’s power to give a further live link direction under this Article in relation to the offender).

The court may exercise this power of its own motion or on an application by a party.

(7) The offender may not give oral evidence while attending a hearing through a live link by virtue of this Article unless—

(a)he consents to give evidence in that way; and

(b)the court is satisfied that it is not contrary to the interests of justice for him to give it in that way.

(8) The court must—

(a)state in open court its reasons for refusing an application for, or for the rescission of, a live link direction under this Article; and

(b)if it is a magistrates' court, cause those reasons to be entered in the Order Book.

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