Criminal justice act, 1951

Enactment Date21 February 1951
Act Number2


Number 2 of 1951.


CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT, 1951.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Court.

2.

Summary trial of indictable offences.

3.

Procedure where accused pleads guilty in District Court to indictable offence.

4.

Punishment on summary conviction for certain indictable offences.

5.

Imposition of consecutive terms of imprisonment by District Court.

6.

Inclusion of summary offences in indictment.

7.

Restriction of section 10 (4) of Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851.

8.

Taking of other offences into consideration in awarding punishment.

9.

Deposition as evidence at trial.

10.

Obtaining by false pretences.

11.

Amendment of section 42 of the Offences against the Person Act, 1861.

12.

Amendment of sections 51 and 52 of the Malicious Damage Act, 1861.

13.

Unlawful Possession.

14.

Release on bail in certain cases by members of Garda Síochána.

15.

Proceedings on arrest.

16.

Power of Circuit Court to release from recognisance.

17.

Recognisances by corporation.

18.

Exemption of Minister of State, the Attorney General and members of the Garda Síochána from liability to enter into recognisances.

19.

Transfer of trials by Circuit Court from place to place.

20.

Clearing of court and prohibition of reports of proceedings.

21.

Evidence of decision in cases of summary jurisdiction.

22.

Fiats, etc., of Attorney General to be admissble in evidence.

23.

Remission of punishment, forfeitures and disqualifications.

24.

Right of appeal from order of committal to industrial or reformatory school or Borstal Institution or place of detention.

25.

Disposal of property in possession of Garda Síochána.

26.

Repeals.

27.

Short Title.

FIRST SCHEDULE.

Indictable Offences Which May Be Dealt With Summarily By the District Court.

SECOND SCHEDULE.

Enactments Repealed.


Acts Referred to

Treason Act, 1939

No. 10 of 1939

Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1926

No. 45 of 1926

Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1942

No. 3 of 1942

Road Traffic Act, 1933

No. 11 of 1933

Plate Assay (Amendment) Act, 1931

No. 10 of 1931

Courts of Justice Act, 1924

No. 10 of 1924

Courts of Justice Act, 1926

No. 1 of 1926

Enforcement of Court Orders Act, 1926

No. 18 of 1926

Courts of Justice Act, 1928

No. 15 of 1928

Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1935

No. 6 of 1935

Courts of Justice Act, 1936

No. 48 of 1936


Number 2 of 1951.


CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT, 1951.


AN ACT TO AMEND CRIMINAL LAW AND ADMINISTRATION. [21st February, 1951.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

Court.

1.—In this Act “Court” refers to any court exercising criminal jurisdiction, save where the context otherwise requires, but does not include courtmartial.

Summary trial of indictable offences.

2.—(1) (a) In this Act, “scheduled offence” means—

(i) an offence specified in the First Schedule to this Act, or

(ii) an indictable offence declared to be a scheduled offence by an order under paragraph (b) for the time being in force.

(b) The Minister for Justice may by order declare that any specified indictable offence shall be a scheduled offence.

(c) An order shall not come into force unless approved by resolution of each House of the Oireachtas but, upon being so approved, shall come into force forthwith.

(2) (a) The District Court may try summarily a person charged with a scheduled offence if—

(i) the Court is of opinion that the facts proved or alleged constitute a minor offence fit to be so tried, and

(ii) the accused, on being informed by the Court of his right to be tried with a jury, does not object to being tried summarily.

(b) A person shall not be tried summarily for an offence specified in the First Schedule at reference numbers 1, 2 or 3 or for an attempt to commit such an offence unless the Attorney General has consented to his being so tried.

(3) This section shall not prevent the Court from sending forward a person for trial for a scheduled offence.

Procedure where accused pleads guilty in District Court to indictable offence.

3.—(1) This section applies to all indictable offences except the following—an offence under the Treason Act, 1939 (No. 10 of 1939), murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy to murder and piracy, including an offence by an accessory before or after the fact.

(2) Where, before or after taking or completing depositions,—

(a) the District Court ascertains that a person charged with an offence to which this section applies wishes to plead guilty, and

(b) the Court is satisfied that he understands the nature of the offence and the facts alleged,

the Court may—

(i) if the Attorney General does not object, deal with the offence summarily, or

(ii) if the accused signs a plea of guilty, send him forward for trial with that plea and any depositions already taken.

(3) (a) Where a person sent forward for trial under this section, on being arraigned, expresses the desire to withdraw his written plea and to plead not guilty, the trial judge shall enter a plea of not guilty and fix a date for the trial.

(b) If at the trial it is proposed to call as witnesses for the prosecution persons who have not made depositions, the Attorney General shall, not less than seven days before the trial, cause to be served on the accused a notice in writing specifying those persons and giving a statement of the evidence that is to be given by each of them.

Punishment on summary conviction for certain indictable offences.

4.—(1) On conviction by the District Court for a scheduled offence or for an indictable offence dealt with under section 3 of this Act, the accused shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(2) In the case, however, of an offence under section 11 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1926 (No. 45 of 1926), the District Court shall not impose a fine exceeding ten pounds or a term of imprisonment exceeding one month.

Imposition of consecutive terms of imprisonment by District Court.

5.—Where a sentence of imprisonment is passed on any person by the District Court, the Court may order that the sentence shall commence at the expiration of any other term of imprisonment to which that person has been previously sentenced, so however that where two or more sentences passed by the District Court are ordered to run consecutively the aggregate term of imprisonment shall not exceed twelve months.

Inclusion of summary offences in indictment.

6.—Where a person is sent forward for trial for an indictable offence, the indictment may contain a count for having committed any offence triable summarily (in this section referred to as a summary offence) with which he has been charged and which arises out of the same set of facts and, if found guilty on that count, he may be sentenced to suffer any punishment which could be inflicted on a person summarily convicted of the summary offence.

Restriction of section 10 (4) of Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851.

7.—Paragraph 4 (which prescribes time limits for the making of complaints in cases of summary jurisdiction) of section 10 of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851 , shall not apply to a complaint in respect of an indictable offence.

Taking of other offences into consideration in awarding punishment.

8.—(1) Where a person, on being convicted of an offence, admits himself guilty of any other offence and asks to have it taken into consideration in awarding punishment, the Court may take it into consideration accordingly.

(2) If the Court takes an offence into consideration, a note of that fact shall be made and filed with the record of the sentence, and the accused shall not be prosecuted for that offence, unless his conviction is reversed on appeal.

Deposition as evidence at trial.

9.—(1) A deposition taken on the preliminary investigation of an indictable offence may, subject to subsection (2), be read as evidence at the trial of the accused if it is proved that—

(a) the deponent is dead or insane or so ill as to be unable to attend the trial, and

(b) the deposition was taken in the presence of the accused, and

(c) the accused or his counsel or solicitor had an opportunity of cross-examining the deponent.

(2) In the case of the deponent's insanity or illness the deposition shall not be read without the accused's consent.

Obtaining by false pretences.

10.—A person who by any false pretence, with intent to defraud, obtains anything capable of being stolen or causes it to be delivered to himself or to any other person for the use or benefit or on account of himself or any other person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and on conviction shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding five years or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Amendment of section 42 of the Offences against the Person Act, 1861.

11.—(1) In this section references to common assault and battery are to offences under section 42 of the Offences against the Person Act, 1861 .

(2) A person convicted of common assault or battery shall be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds or, at the discretion of the Court, imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

(3) Common assault and battery may be summarily prosecuted on complaint made by or on behalf of the aggrieved person or otherwise.

(4) The adjudication of a complaint as to common assault or battery shall not affect any civil remedy that the complainant may have against the...

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