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Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Section 3: Collection order

This Section provides that a collection order must be imposed by the court unless it is impracticable or inappropriate to do so (Section 3(1)).

It stipulates that a collection order cannot be imposed where the sum in question relates to a confiscation order (which has its own separate collection and enforcement statutory provisions) (Section 3(2)).

The Section provides the information that a collection order will contain and whom it should be served on.  It must detail the amount or amounts due, any partial payments already made and the amount outstanding, how payment can be made, how to contact the collection officer, and other information (Section 3(4)).

When the Court makes a collection order it must provide it to the debtor and the collection officer (Section 3(5)).  Where the debtor appeals his case and a collection order had been made, the collection order is suspended pending the outcome of the appeal (Section 3(6)).

The Section makes provision for the application of the collection order to transitional cases which were already in the criminal justice system before the legislation comes into effect.  Collection orders will be available for all those not yet sentenced whether they have yet been convicted or not. In cases where a debtor has already defaulted on a sum and been dealt with for default, a collection order will not be available (Section 3(7)(b)).

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