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Coroners Act (Northern Ireland) 1959

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[F117APower to require evidence to be given or producedN.I.

(1)A coroner who proceeds to hold an inquest may by notice require a person to attend at a time and place stated in the notice and—

(a)to give evidence at the inquest,

(b)to produce any documents in the custody or under the control of the person which relate to a matter that is relevant to the inquest, or

(c)to produce for inspection, examination or testing any other thing in the custody or under the control of the person which relates to a matter that is relevant to the inquest.

(2)A coroner who is making any investigation to determine whether or not an inquest is necessary, or who proceeds to hold an inquest, may by notice require a person, within such period as the coroner thinks reasonable—

(a)to provide evidence to the coroner, about any matters specified in the notice, in the form of a written statement,

(b)to produce any documents in the custody or under the control of the person which relate to a matter that is relevant to the investigation or inquest, or

(c)to produce for inspection, examination or testing any other thing in the custody or under the control of the person which relates to a matter that is relevant to the investigation or inquest.

(3)A notice under subsection (1) or (2) shall—

(a)explain the possible consequences, under subsection (6), of not complying with the notice;

(b)indicate what the recipient of the notice should do if he wishes to make a claim under subsection (4).

(4)A claim by a person that—

(a)he is unable to comply with a notice under this section, or

(b)it is not reasonable in all the circumstances to require him to comply with such a notice,

is to be determined by the coroner, who may revoke or vary the notice on that ground.

(5)In deciding whether to revoke or vary a notice on the ground mentioned in subsection (4)(b), the coroner shall consider the public interest in the information in question being obtained for the purposes of the inquest, having regard to the likely importance of the information.

(6)A coroner may impose a fine not exceeding £1000 on a person who fails without reasonable excuse to do anything required by a notice under subsection (1) or (2).

(7)For the purposes of this section a document or thing is under a person's control if it is in the person's possession or if he has a right to possession of it.

(8)Nothing in this section shall prevent a person who has not been given a notice under subsection (1) or (2) from giving or producing any evidence, document or other thing.]

F1Ss. 17A-17C substituted for s. 17 (29.2.2016) by Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (c. 25), s. 182(5), Sch. 11 para. 1 (with s. 180); S.R. 2016/23, art. 2

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