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Northern Ireland Act 1998

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Bail and legal aid in criminal proceedings

39(1)Sub-paragraph (3) applies where a devolution issue arises in proceedings against a person (“the defendant”) for an offence and the issue is referred to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland under paragraph 7.

(2)Sub-paragraphs (3) and (4) apply where such an issue arises in such proceedings and—

(a)the issue is referred by the Court to the Judicial Committee under paragraph 9 or 33; or

(b)the issue is determined by the Court under paragraph 7 and—

(i)an appeal to the Committee against the determination is brought under paragraph 10; or

(ii)an application for leave to bring such an appeal is made to the Court under that paragraph.

(3)The Court may, if it thinks fit, on the application of the defendant, admit him to bail pending the determination of the reference, appeal or application.

(4)The Court may at any time when it appears to the Court—

(a)that it is desirable in the interests of justice that the defendant should have legal aid; and

(b)that he has not sufficient means to obtain that aid,

assign to him a solicitor and counsel, or counsel only, in the reference, appeal or application.

(5)If, on a question of granting a person free legal aid under sub-paragraph (4), there is a doubt—

(a)whether it is desirable in the interests of justice that he should have legal aid; or

(b)whether he has sufficient means to obtain that aid,

the doubt shall be resolved in favour of granting him free legal aid.

(6)The fees of any counsel, and the expenses and fees of any solicitor, assigned to a person under sub-paragraph (4) shall be defrayed, up to an amount allowed by the Master (Taxing Office), by the Lord Chancellor out of money provided by Parliament.

40Where a devolution issue arises as mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) of paragraph 39 and—

(a)the issue is referred to the Judicial Committee under paragraph 9 or 33; or

(b)the issue is determined by the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland under paragraph 7 and—

(i)an appeal to the Committee against the determination is brought under paragraph 10; or

(ii)an application for special leave to bring such an appeal is made to the Committee under that paragraph,

sub-paragraphs (3) to (6) of paragraph 39 shall apply as if the references to the Court were references to the Committee.

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