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The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1994

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23.—(1) If any matter is published or included in a relevant programme in contravention of Article 19, the following persons shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale—

(a)in the case of publication in a newspaper or periodical, any proprietor, any editor and any publisher of the newspaper or periodical;

(b)in the case of publication in any other form, the person publishing the matter; and

(c)in the case of matter included in a relevant programme—

(i)any body corporate engaged in providing the service in which the programme is included; and

(ii)any person having functions in relation to the programme corresponding to those of an editor of a newspaper.

(2) Where a person is charged with an offence under this Article in respect of the publication of any matter or the inclusion of any matter in a relevant programme, it shall be a defence, subject to paragraph (3), to prove that the publication or programme in which the matter appeared was one in respect of which the person against whom the offence mentioned in Article 19 is alleged to have been committed had given written consent to the appearance of matter of that description.

(3) Written consent is not a defence if it is proved that any person interfered unreasonably with the peace or comfort of the person giving the consent, with intent to obtain it.

(4) Proceedings for an offence under this Article shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Attorney General.

(5) Where a person is charged with an offence under this Article it shall be a defence to prove that at the time of the alleged offence he was not aware, and neither suspected nor had reason to suspect, that the publication or programme in question was of, or (as the case may be) included, the matter in question.

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