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Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

80Powers and duties of court security officers

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)A court security officer acting in the execution of his duty has power to —

(a)search any person who is in, or is seeking to enter, a relevant court-house and any article in the possession of any such person,

(b)exclude or remove from a relevant court-house any person who refuses to permit such a search, or refuses to surrender any article in his possession which the officer reasonably believes may jeopardise the maintenance of order in the court-house, or

(c)exclude or remove any person from, or restrain any person in, a relevant court-house where it is reasonably necessary to do so in order to maintain order in the court-house, to enable court business to be carried on without interference or delay or to secure his or any other person’s safety.

(2)The power conferred by subsection (1)(a) to search a person does not authorise a court security officer to require a person to remove any of his clothing other than an outer coat, jacket, gloves or hat.

(3)The powers conferred by subsection (1)(b) and (c) include power to use reasonable force, where necessary.

(4)In the execution of his duty in any court-house, a court security officer must act in accordance with any general or specific instructions which have been given to him (whether orally or in writing) by a person in authority.

(5)“Person in authority” means—

(a)a judge, coroner or magistrate who is exercising any functions in the court-house, or

(b)any officer or other member of staff of the Court Service authorised to give him instructions.

(6)A court security officer is not to be regarded as acting in the execution of his duty at any time when he is not readily identifiable as such an officer (whether by means of a uniform or badge which he is wearing or otherwise).

(7)Every court security officer is to be regarded as an officer of the court for the purposes of—

(a)Article 55 of the County Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1980 (S.I. 1980/397 (N.I. 3)),

(b)section 34 of the Coroners Act (Northern Ireland) 1959 (c. 15 (N.I.)), and

(c)Article 160 of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (S.I. 1981/1675 (N.I. 26)),

(which provide for the detention by court officers, and punishment, of persons misbehaving in court).

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