Other Notices

2008-10-012008-09-05TSO (The Stationery Office), St Crispins, Duke Street, Norwich, NR3 1PD, 01603 622211, customer.services@tso.co.uk70122301/172301/17

Northern Ireland Court Service

The Magistrates’ Courts (Amendment No. 2) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2008 [S.R. 2008 No. 361]

Notice is hereby given that the Magistrates’ Courts Rules Committee has made the following Rules in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 13 of the Magistrates’ Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 after consultation with the Lord Chancellor and with the agreement of the Lord Chief Justice.

The Magistrates’ Courts (Amendment No. 2) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2008 [S.R. 2008 No. 361]

These Rules amend the Magistrates’ Courts Rules (Northern Ireland) 1984 (‘the principal Rules’) so as to amend the procedure in relation to the giving of notice of the intention to adduce or elicit evidence of bad character and hearsay evidence, and to take account of Part III of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 (‘the 2004 Order’), Article 21A of the Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (‘the 1999 Order’).

Rules 3(1) and 3(2) prescribe notice periods in relation to evidence of bad character and hearsay evidence in respect of preliminary investigations and preliminary inquiries;
Rule 3(3) inserts new rules into the principal Rules to make provision in relation to the procedure for applications for witnesses other than the accused to give evidence by way of live link under Part III of the 2004 Order;
Rule 3(4) inserts new rules into the principal Rules which prescribe the procedure for applications for live link directions for evidence of certain accused persons under Article 21A of the 1999 Order;
Rule 3(5) amends forms in Schedule 1 to the principal Rules in consequence of rules 3(1) and 3(2) and inserts new forms into Schedule 1 in consequence of rules 3(3) and 3(4).

These Rules, in the main, will come into operation on 1st October 2008. Some Rules however are subject to commencement of some provisions of the 1999 Order and the 2004 Order.

Copies of the Rules – Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland 2008 No. 361 may be obtained from The Stationery Office, 16 Arthur Street, Belfast, BT1 4GD.