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Senior Courts Act 1981

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36 Subpoena issued by High Court to run throughout United Kingdom.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)If in any cause or matter in the High Court it appears to the court that it is proper to compel the personal attendance at any trial of a witness who may not be within the jurisdiction of the court, it shall be lawful for the court, if in the discretion of the court it seems fit so to do, to order that a writ of subpoena ad testificandum or writ of subpoena duces tecum shall issue in special form commanding the witness to attend the trial wherever he shall be within the United Kingdom; and the service of any such writ in any part of the United Kingdom shall be as valid and effectual for all purposes as if it had been served within the jurisdiction of the High Court.

(2)Every such writ shall have at its foot a statement to the effect that it is issued by the special order of the High Court, and no such writ shall issue without such a special order.

(3)If any person served with a writ issued under this section does not appear as required by the writ, the High Court, on proof to the satisfaction of the court of the service of the writ and of the default, may transmit a certificate of the default under the seal of the court or under the hand of a judge of the court—

(a)if the service was in Scotland, to the Court of Session at Edinburgh; or

(b)if the service was in Northern Ireland, to the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland at Belfast;

and the court to which the certificate is sent shall thereupon proceed against and punish the person in default in like manner as if that person had neglected or refused to appear in obedience to process issued out of that court.

(4)No court shall in any case proceed against or punish any person for having made such default as aforesaid unless it is shown to the court that a reasonable and sufficient sum of money to defray

[F1(a)the expenses of coming and attending to give evidence and of returning from giving evidence; and

(b)any other reasonable expenses which he has asked to be defrayed in connection with his evidence,

was tendered to him at the time when the writ was served upon him.]

(5)Nothing in this section shall affect—

(a)the power of the High Court to issue a commission for the examination of witnesses out of the jurisdiction of the court in any case in which, notwithstanding this section, the court thinks fit to issue such a commission; or

(b)the admissibility at any trial of any evidence which, if this section had not been enacted, would have been admissible on the ground of a witness being outside the jurisdiction of the court.

(6)In this section references to attendance at a trial include references to attendance before an examiner or commissioner appointed by the High Court in any cause or matter in that court, including an examiner or commissioner appointed to take evidence outside the jurisdiction of the court.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C4S. 36 applied by Opticians Act 1989 (c. 44, SIF 83:1), s. 21(2)

S. 36 applied (19.6.1997) by 1997 c. 24, ss. 10(8), 24(2), Sch. 2 para. 1(c)

S. 36 applied by Medical Act 1983 (c. 54), Sch. 4 para. 2(2) (as inserted by The Medical Act 1983 (Amendment) Order 2002 (S.I. 2002/3155), art. 14 (with transitional provisions in art. 16(2), Sch. 2) (the amendment coming into force in accordance with art. 1(2)(3) of the amending S.I.))

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