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The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

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Access to legal adviceN.I.

59.F1(1) A person arrested and held in custody in a police station or other premises shall be entitled, if he so requests, to consult a solicitor privately at any time.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), a request under paragraph (1) and the time at which it was made shall be recorded in the custody record.

(3) Such a request need not be recorded in the custody record of a person who makes it at a time while he is at a court after being charged with an offence.

(4) If a person makes such a request, he must be permitted to consult a solicitor as soon as is practicable except to the extent that delay is permitted by this Article.

(5) In any case he must be permitted to consult a solicitor within 36 hours from the relevant time, as defined in Article 42(2).

(6) Delay in compliance with a request is only permitted—

(a)in the case of a person who is in police detention for [F2an indictable offence]; and

(b)if an officer of at least the rank of superintendent authorises it.

(7) An officer may give an authorisation under paragraph (6) orally or in writing but, if he gives it orally, he shall confirm it in writing as soon as is practicable.

(8) [F3Subject to paragraph (8A)] an officer may only authorise delay where he has reasonable grounds for believing that the exercise of the right conferred by paragraph (1) at the time when the person detained desires to exercise it—

(a)will lead to interference with or harm to evidence connected with [F4an indictable offence] or interference with or physical injury to other persons; or

(b)will lead to the alerting of other persons suspected of having committed such an offence but not yet arrested for it; or

(c)will hinder the recovery of any property obtained as a result of such an offence.

[F5(8A) An officer may also authorise delay where he has reasonable grounds for believing that—

(a)the person detained for [F6the indictable offence] has benefited from his criminal conduct, and

(b)the recovery of the value of the property constituting the benefit will be hindered by the exercise of the right conferred by paragraph (1).

(8B) For the purposes of paragraph (8A) the question whether a person has benefited from his criminal conduct is to be decided in accordance with Part 4 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.]

(9) If the delay is authorised—

(a)the detained person shall be told the reason for it; and

(b)the reason shall be noted on his custody record.

(10) The duties imposed by paragraph (9) shall be performed as soon as practicable.

(11) There shall be no further delay in permitting the exercise of the right conferred by paragraph (1) once the reason for authorising delay ceases to subsist.

(12) Nothing in this Article applies to a person arrested or detained under the terrorism provisions [F7or under section 27 of the National Security Act 2023,] [F8 or detained under Part 1 of Schedule 3 to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019].

F1mod. by SI 2003/3107

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Art. 59 applied (with modifications) by 1994 c. 33, s. 137D(4)(c) Sch. 7B Pt. 3 (as inserted (31.1.2017 for specified purposes, 1.3.2018 in so far as not already in operation) by Policing and Crime Act 2017 (c. 3), s. 116(1)(3), 183(1)(5)(e), Sch. 16; S.I. 2018/227, art. 2(f))

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