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Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

Section 35: Information for Director

67.Subsections (1) and (2) of this section require court officials, resident magistrates, lay magistrates and clerks of petty sessions to send the Director copies of relevant information when persons are committed for trial or a complaint has been made. This will ensure that the Director is made aware of prosecutions which he has not heard about through other channels. It would then be open to him to take over the conduct of those prosecutions under section 31.

68.There is a requirement in subsection (3) for coroners to report to the Director the circumstances of a death where it appears that an offence may have been committed. Subsection (4) of this section requires the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to send to the Director information about offences alleged to have been committed which are of a description specified by the Director. This information will enable the Director to monitor the progress of investigations and proceedings in relation to particular types of offences.

69.Subsection (5) requires the Chief Constable to send information to the Director at his request about criminal offences that may have been committed or any other information that the Director might need in order to carry out his functions: this reflects provisions currently in force in Article 6(3) of the Prosecution of Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1972. This could be used, for example, where the Director had gained information that indicated a criminal offence might have been committed. He could ensure that it had been thoroughly investigated and request any associated papers in order to ensure that a decision could be made by the Prosecution Service as to whether any prosecution should be instituted. These provisions do not, however, constitute a power for the Director to supervise the conduct of investigations by the police.

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