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Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

Section 7: Preliminary investigations

This section amends the Magistrates’ Courts (NI) Order 1981 (“the 1981 Order”) by inserting a new Article 29A. This provides that committal proceedings in a magistrates’ court shall be conducted by way of a preliminary investigation where the courts so directs, and in all other cases, shall be by way of a preliminary inquiry.

An accused may apply to the court for a direction that a preliminary investigation is to be held, and the court may grant such an application only if it is satisfied that a preliminary investigation is necessary in the interests of justice.

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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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