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Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015

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5U.K.After paragraph 5 insert—

Research by jurorsU.K.

5A(1)It is an offence for a member of a jury at an inquest to research the case during the inquest period, subject to the exceptions in sub-paragraphs (6) and (7).

(2)A person researches a case if (and only if) the person—

(a)intentionally seeks information, and

(b)when doing so, knows or ought reasonably to know that the information is or may be relevant to the inquest.

(3)The ways in which a person may seek information include—

(a)asking a question,

(b)searching an electronic database, including by means of the internet,

(c)visiting or inspecting a place or object,

(d)conducting an experiment, and

(e)asking another person to seek the information.

(4)Information relevant to the inquest includes information about—

(a)a person involved in events relevant to the inquest,

(b)the senior coroner dealing with the inquest,

(c)any other person who is involved in the inquest, whether as a lawyer, a witness or otherwise,

(d)the law relating to the case,

(e)the law of evidence, and

(f)procedure at inquests.

(5)The inquest period”, in relation to a member of a jury at an inquest, is the period—

(a)beginning when the person is sworn to inquire into the case, and

(b)ending when the senior coroner discharges the jury or, if earlier, when the senior coroner discharges the person.

(6)It is not an offence under this paragraph for a person to seek information if the person needs the information for a reason which is not connected with the case.

(7)It is not an offence under this paragraph for a person—

(a)to attend proceedings at the inquest;

(b)to seek information from the senior coroner dealing with the case;

(c)to do anything which the senior coroner dealing with the case directs or authorises the person to do;

(d)to seek information from another member of the jury, unless the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the other member of the jury contravened this paragraph in the process of obtaining the information;

(e)to do anything else which is reasonably necessary in order for the jury to make a determination or finding in the case.

(8)A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine (or both).

(9)Proceedings for an offence under this paragraph may only be instituted by or with the consent of the Attorney General.

Sharing research with other jurorsU.K.

5B(1)It is an offence for a member of a jury at an inquest intentionally to disclose information to another member of the jury during the inquest period if—

(a)the member contravened paragraph 5A in the process of obtaining the information, and

(b)the information has not been provided at the inquest.

(2)Information has been provided at the inquest if (and only if) it has been provided as part of—

(a)evidence presented at the inquest, or

(b)other information provided to the jury or a juror during the inquest period by, or with the permission of, the senior coroner dealing with the case.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine (or both).

(4)Proceedings for an offence under this paragraph may not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Attorney General.

(5)In this paragraph, “the inquest period” has the same meaning as in paragraph 5A.

Jurors engaging in other prohibited conductU.K.

5C(1)It is an offence for a member of a jury at an inquest intentionally to engage in prohibited conduct during the inquest period, subject to the exceptions in sub-paragraphs (4) and (5).

(2)Prohibited conduct” means conduct from which it may reasonably be concluded that the person intends to make a determination or finding otherwise than on the basis of the evidence presented at the inquest.

(3)An offence under this paragraph is committed whether or not the person knows that the conduct is prohibited conduct.

(4)It is not an offence under this paragraph for a member of the jury to research the case (as defined in paragraph 5A(2) to (4)).

(5)It is not an offence under this paragraph for a member of the jury to disclose information to another member of the jury.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine (or both).

(7)Proceedings for an offence under this paragraph may not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Attorney General.

(8)In this paragraph, “the inquest period” has the same meaning as in paragraph 5A.

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