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The Crown Court (Amendment) Rules (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Amendment to the principal Rules

2.  For rule 44B there shall be substituted the following rule—

Evidence through television link where witness will not give evidence otherwise through fear or is a child or is to be cross-examined after admission of video recording

44B.(1) Any party may apply for leave under Article 81(2) of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (in this rule referred to as the “1989 Order”) for evidence to be given through a live television link where—

(a)a witness will not give evidence otherwise through fear; or

(b)the offence charged is one to which Article 81(3) of the 1989 Order applies and evidence is to be given by a witness who is either—

(i)in the case of an offence falling within Article 81(3)(a) or (b) of the 1989 Order, under the age of 14; or

(ii)in the case of an offence falling within Article 81(3)(c) of the 1989 Order, under the age of 17; or

(iii)a person who is to be cross-examined following the admission under Article 81A of the 1989 Order of a video recording of testimony from him.

(2) An application under paragraph (1) shall be made by giving notice in writing which shall be in Form 5 in the Schedule.

(3) An application under paragraph (1) shall be made within 28 days from the date—

(a)of the committal of the defendant; or

(b)on which Notice of Transfer under Article 3 of the Criminal Justice (Serious Fraud) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988(1) or under Article 4 of the Children’s Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 was given; or

(c)on which leave to present an indictment under section 2(2)(e) of the Grand Jury (Abolition) Act (Northern Ireland) 1969(2) was given; or

(d)on which an order for retrial is made.

(4) The notice under paragraph (2) shall be served on the chief clerk and at the same time a copy thereof shall be served by the applicant on every other party to the proceedings.

(5) A party who receives a copy of a notice under paragraph (2) and who wishes to oppose the application shall within 14 days notify the applicant and the chief clerk, in writing, of his opposition, given the reasons therefor.

(6) An application under paragraph (1) shall be determined by a judge who may direct a hearing and the chief clerk shall notify the parties of the time and place of any such hearing.

(7) The chief clerk shall notify all the parties of the decision of the judge in relation to an application under paragraph (1) and, where leave is granted, the notification shall state—

(a)where the witness is to give evidence on behalf of the prosecutor, the name of the witness, or (as the case may be) the letter under which he is designated in the proceedings, and in the case of a witness coming within paragraph (1)(b), the name, occupation and relationship, (if any) to the witness of the person, (if known) who is to accompany the witness; and

(b)the location of the Crown Court at which the trial should take place.

(8) The period of 28 days in paragraph (3) or the period of 14 days in paragraph (5) may be extended, either before or after it expires, on an application made in writing specifying the grounds of the application and served on the chief clerk and a copy of the application shall be served by the applicant on every other party to the proceedings.

(9) An application for extension of time under paragraph (8) shall be determined by a judge who may direct a hearing and the chief clerk shall notify the parties of the time and place of any such hearing.

(10) The chief clerk shall notify all parties of the decision of the court on the application for extension of time.

(11) Unless the judge otherwise directs, a witness shall, when giving evidence through a television link, be present in the building in which the court is sitting.

(12) When giving evidence through a television link—

(a)a witness who comes within paragraph (1)(b) shall be accompanied by a person acceptable to a judge and, unless the judge otherwise directs, by no other person;

(b)any other witness shall not be accompanied by any other person unless the judge otherwise directs..

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