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Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1991

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

3Limitation of power to grant bail in case of scheduled offences

(1)This section applies to any person who has attained the age of fourteen and is charged with a scheduled offence which is neither being tried summarily nor certified by the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland as in his opinion suitable to be so tried.

(2)Subject to subsection (7) below, a person to whom this section applies shall not be admitted to bail except—

(a)by a judge of the High Court or the Court of Appeal; or

(b)by the judge of the court of trial on adjourning the trial of a person charged with a scheduled offence.

(3)A judge may, in his discretion, admit to bail in pursuance of subsection (2) above a person to whom this section applies except where he is satisfied that there are substantial grounds for believing that that person, if released on bail (whether subject to conditions or not), would—

(a)fail to surrender to custody, or

(b)commit an offence while on bail, or

(c)interfere with any witness, or

(d)otherwise obstruct or attempt to obstruct the course of justice, whether in relation to himself or in relation to any other person,

or, if released subject to conditions, would fail to comply with all or any of those conditions.

(4)In exercising his discretion in accordance with subsection (3) above in relation to a person, a judge shall have regard to such of the following considerations as appear to him to be relevant, namely—

(a)the nature and seriousness of the offence with which the person is charged,

(b)the character, antecedents, associations and community ties of the person,

(c)the time which the person has already spent in custody and the time which he is likely to spend in custody if he is not admitted to bail, and

(d)the strength of the evidence of his having committed the offence,

as well as to any others which appear to be relevant.

(5)Without prejudice to any other power to impose conditions on admission to bail, a judge may impose such conditions on admitting a person to bail under this section as appear to him to be likely to result in that person’s appearance at the time and place required, or to be necessary in the interests of justice or for the prevention of crime.

(6)Where a person to whom this section applies is a serving member of—

(a)any of Her Majesty’s forces; or

(b)the Royal Ulster Constabulary or the Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve,

he may be admitted to bail on condition that he is held in military or (as the case may be) police custody if the judge is satisfied that suitable arrangements have been made for holding him in such custody; and where a person is admitted to bail on such a condition it shall be lawful for him to be held in such custody in accordance with the conditions of his bail.

(7)The power to admit a person to bail in accordance with subsection (6) above shall, notwithstanding subsection (2) above, be exercisable by a resident magistrate as well as by a judge.

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