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Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992

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3Power to displace section 1

(1)If, before the commencement of a trial at which a person is charged with an offence to which this Act applies, he or another person against whom the complainant may be expected to give evidence at the trial, applies to the judge for a direction under this subsection and satisfies the judge—

(a)that the direction is required for the purpose of inducing persons who are likely to be needed as witnesses at the trial to come forward; and

(b)that the conduct of the applicant’s defence at the trial is likely to be substantially prejudiced if the direction is not given,

the judge shall direct that section 1 shall not, by virtue of the accusation alleging the offence in question, apply in relation to the complainant.

(2)If at a trial the judge is satisfied—

(a)that the effect of section 1 is to impose a substantial and unreasonable restriction upon the reporting of proceedings at the trial, and

(b)that it is in the public interest to remove or relax the restriction,

he shall direct that that section shall not apply to such matter as is specified in the direction.

(3)A direction shall not be given under subsection (2) by reason only of the outcome of the trial.

(4)If a person who has been convicted of an offence and has given notice of appeal against the conviction, or notice of an application for leave so to appeal, applies to the appellate court for a direction under this subsection and satisfies the court—

(a)that the direction is required for the purpose of obtaining evidence in support of the appeal; and

(b)that the applicant is likely to suffer substantial injustice if the direction is not given,

the court shall direct that section 1 shall not, by virtue of an accusation which alleges an offence to which this Act applies and is specified in the direction, apply in relation to a complainant so specified.

(5)A direction given under any provision of this section does not affect the operation of section 1 at any time before the direction is given.

(6)In subsections (1) and (2), “judge” means—

(a)in the case of an offence which is to be tried summarily or for which the mode of trial has not been determined, any justice of the peace acting for the petty sessions area concerned; and

(b)in any other case, any judge of the Crown Court.

(7)If, after the commencement of a trial at which a person is charged with an offence to which this Act applies, a new trial of the person for that offence is ordered, the commencement of any previous trial shall be disregarded for the purposes of subsection (1).

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