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Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

Live Links

27.Part 7 of the Act provides an expansion in court services by extending the range of matters that can be dealt with by way of “live link”. When evidence is given by live link a room is provided outside the courtroom where the witness can give evidence via a live television link to the courtroom. This means that the witness will be able to see the courtroom, and that those in the courtroom, including the defendant, will be able to see the witness through a television screen.

28.The additional “live link” provisions being created will introduce the use of live links for certain types of witness; hearing; court; and court-related proceedings in the interest of witnesses and the delivery of a more efficient justice system. The provisions do not change a patient’s or defendant’s entitlement to be present at a hearing nor do they alter the right to consult privately with their legal representative before, during or after a live link.

29.As a package they are designed to increase the use of live links in courts, prisons and hospital psychiatric units providing a cost effective and secure means for patients/defendants to participate in hearings.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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