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Explanatory Memorandum to Criminal Justice (Evidence) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

Stopping the case where evidence is unconvincing

52.Article 29imposes a duty on the court to stop a case and either direct the jury to acquit the defendant or discharge the jury, if the case against him or her is based wholly or partly on an out of court statement which is so unconvincing that, considering its importance to the case, a conviction would be unsafe.  This issue only relates to jury trials and to service courts because in other cases the finders of fact would be found to dismiss a case in these circumstances or order a retrial if appropriate.

53.Paragraph (2) imposes a duty on the court to direct the jury to acquit any other offence not charged, of which they could convict by way of an alternative to the offence charged if the judge is satisfied that a conviction would be unsafe.

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