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Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

48Committal for trial on indictment

(1)A magistrates' court committing a person for trial shall specify the place at which he is to be tried, and in selecting that place shall have regard to—

(a)the convenience of the defence, the prosecution and the witnesses;

(b)the expediting of the trial; and

(c)any directions given by the Lord Chancellor under section 47(2).

(2)Without prejudice to the preceding provisions of this Act about the distribution of Crown Court business, the Crown Court may give directions or further directions altering the place of any trial on indictment, either by varying the decision of a magistrates' court under subsection (1) or a previous direction of the Crown Court.

(3)The defendant or the prosecutor, if dissatisfied with the place of trial as fixed by the magistrates' court or by the Crown Court, may apply to the Crown Court for a direction or further direction varying the place of trial; and the court shall take the matter into consideration and may grant or refuse the application, or give such other direction as the court thinks fit.

(4)Any application under subsection (3) shall be heard by a judge in open court.

(5)The trial of a person committed by a magistrates' court—

(a)shall not begin until the expiration of the specified period beginning with the date of his committal, except with his consent and the consent of the prosecutor; and

(b)shall, unless the Crown Court has otherwise ordered, begin not later than the expiration of the specified period beginning with the date of his committal (that is to say a period longer than the period specified for the purposes of paragraph (a) above for the proceedings in question).

For the purposes of this subsection—

(i)" the specified period" means such period for the respective purposes of paragraphs (a) and (b) as may be specified by Crown Court rules and the rules may make different provision for different places of trial or for other different circumstances ;

(ii)the trial shall be deemed to begin when the defendant is arraigned.

(6)Directions under subsection (2) may be given on behalf of the Crown Court by an officer of the Crown Court, but the power to make orders conferred on the Crown Court by subsection (5)(b) shall be exercisable only by a judge of the court.

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