Criminal justice (administration) act, 1924

Enactment Date05 August 1924
Act Number44


Number 44 of 1924.


CRIMINAL JUSTICE (ADMINISTRATION) ACT, 1924.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Rules as to indictments.

2.

Making of rules under this Act.

3.

Rules which may be made under this Act.

4.

General provisions as to indictments.

5.

Joinder of charges in the same indictment.

6.

Orders for amendment of indictment, separate trial, and postponement of trial.

7.

Costs of defective or redundant indictments.

8.

Provision as to Vexatious Indictments Act.

9.

Prosecutions to be at suit of Attorney-General.

10.

Form of oath on issue of competence to plead.

11.

Form of oath where prisoner stands mute.

12.

Nolle prosequi and form thereof.

13.

Form of recognizance.

14.

Form of juror's oath in criminal cases.

15.

Savings and interpretation.

16.

Repeal, extent, and short title.

FIRST SCHEDULE

RULES

SECOND SCHEDULE

ENACTMENTS REPEALED


Acts Referred to

Courts of Justice Act, 1924

No. 10 of 1924

Interpretation Act, 1923

No. 46 of 1923


Number 44 of 1924.


CRIMINAL JUSTICE (ADMINISTRATION) ACT, 1924.


AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO INDICTMENTS IN CRIMINAL CASES AND MATTERS INCIDENTAL OR SIMILAR THERETO. [5th August, 1924.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORSTÁT EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

Rules as to indictments.

1.—The rules contained in the First Schedule to this Act with respect to indictments shall have effect as if enacted in this Act, but those rules may be added to, varied, or annulled by further rules made under this Act.

Making of rules under this Act.

2.—(1) Rules made under this Act shall be made by and with the concurrence of the same persons as those by whom and with whose concurrence the Rules of Court mentioned in section 36 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (No. 10 of 1924), are by that section authorised or required to be made.

(2) Section 101 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (No. 10 of 1924), shall apply to all rules made under this Act.

Rules which may be made under this Act.

3.—(1) Rules may from time to time be made under this Act varying or annulling all or any of the rules contained in the First Schedule to this Act.

(2) In addition to the rules contained in the First Schedule to this Act, further rules may be made under this Act in respect of any of the matters dealt with in the said rules contained in the First Schedule to this Act.

(3) The rules contained in the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect subject to any modifications or additions made therein or thereto by rules made under this Act.

General provisions as to indictments.

4.—(1) Every indictment shall contain, and shall be sufficient if it contains, a statement of the specific offence or offences with which the accused person is charged, together with such particulars as may be necessary for giving reasonable information as to the nature of the charge.

(2) Notwithstanding any rule of law or practice, an indictment shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, not be open to objection in respect of its form or contents if it is framed in accordance with the rules under this Act.

Joinder of charges in the same indictment.

5.—Subject to the provisions of the rules under this Act, charges for more than one felony or for more than one misdemeanour, and charges for both felonies and misdemeanours, may be joined in the same indictment, but where a felony is tried together with any misdemeanour, the jury shall be sworn and the person accused shall have the same right of challenging jurors as if all the offences charged in the indictment were felonies.

Orders for amendment of indictment, separate trial, and postponement of trial.

6.—(1) Where, before trial, or at any stage of a trial, it appears to the court that the indictment is defective, the court shall make such order for the amendment of the indictment as the court thinks necessary to meet the circumstances of the case, unless the required amendments cannot in the opinion of the court be made without injustice, and may make such order as to the payment of any costs incurred owing to the necessity for amendment as the court thinks fit.

(2) Where an indictment is so amended, a note of the order for amendment shall be endorsed on the indictment, and the indictment shall be treated for the purposes of the trial and for the purposes of all proceedings in connection therewith as having been preferred to the jury in the amended form.

(3) Where, before trial, or at any stage of a trial, the court is of opinion that a person accused may be prejudiced or embarrassed in his defence by reason of being charged with more than one offence in the same indictment, or that for any other reason it is desirable to direct that the person should be tried separately for any one or more offences charged in an indictment, the court may order a separate trial of any count or counts of such indictment.

(4) Where, before trial, or at any stage of a trial, the court is of opinion that the postponement of the trial of a person accused is expedient as a consequence of the exercise of any power of the court under this Act to amend an indictment or to order a separate trial of a count, the court shall make such order as to the postponement of the trial as appears necessary.

(5) Where an order of the court is made under this section for a separate trial or for the postponement of a trial—

(a) if such an order is made during a trial the court may order that the jury are to be discharged from giving a verdict on the count or counts the trial of which is postponed or on the indictment, as the case may be; and

(b) the procedure on the separate trial of a count shall be the same in all respects as if the count had been preferred in a separate indictment, and the procedure on the postponed trial shall be the same in all respects (if the jury has been discharged) as if the trial had not commenced; and

(c) the court may make such order as to costs and as to admitting the accused person to bail, and as to the enlargement of recognizances and otherwise as the court thinks fit.

(6) Any power of the court under this section shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any other power of the court for the same or similar purposes.

Costs of defective or redundant indictments.

7.—Where it appears to the court that an indictment contains unnecessary matter, or is of unnecessary length, or is materially defective in any respect, the court may make such order as to the payment of that part of the costs of the prosecution which has been incurred by reason of the indictment so containing unnecessary matter, or being of unnecessary length, or being materially defective as the court thinks fit.

Provision as to Vexatious Indictments Act.

8.—Nothing in this Act shall prevent an indictment being open to objection if it contravenes or fails to comply with the Vexatious Indictments Act, 1859.

Prosecutions to be at suit of Attorney-General.

9.—(1) All criminal charges prosecuted upon indictment in any court shall be prosecuted at the suit of the Attorney-General of Saorstát Eireann.

(2) Save where a criminal prosecution in a court of summary jurisdiction is prosecuted by a Minister, Department of State, or person (official or unofficial) authorised in that behalf by the law for the time being in force, all prosecutions in any court of summary jurisdiction shall be prosecuted at the suit of the Attorney-General of Saorstát Eireann.

Form of oath on issue of competence to plead.

10.—The Oath to be administered to the jurors empanelled to try whether a prisoner is competent to plead or not shall be in the following form, that is to say:—

“I do swear by Almighty God that I will well and diligently inquire whether A.B., the prisoner at the bar, be insane or not, and a true verdict give according to the best of my understanding.”

Form of oath where prisoner stands mute.

11.—The oath to be administered to the jurors empanelled to try the issue as to whether a prisoner who stands mute is mute of malice or by the visitation of God shall be in the following form, that is to say:—

“I do swear by Almighty God that I will well and truly try whether A.B., the prisoner at the bar, is mute of malice or by the visitation of God and a true verdict give according to the evidence.”

Nolle prosequi and form thereof.

12.—At the trial of a prisoner on indictment at the prosecution of the Attorney-General of Saorstát Eireann a nolle prosequi may be entered at the instance of the Attorney-General of Saorstát Eireann at any time after the indictment is preferred to the jury and before a verdict is found thereon, and every such nolle prosequi shall be in the following form, that is to say:—

On the_____day of__________19_____, at the trial of A.B. on the prosecution of the Attorney-General of Saorstát Eireann on an indictment for________________________the said Attorney-General in his proper person (or by his counsel) stated to the court that he would not further prosecute the said A.B. on the said indictment, whereupon it was ordered by the court that the said A.B. be discharged of and from the indictment aforesaid.

Form of recognizance.

13.—Every recognizance entered into by way of bail before a District Justice or a Justice of the District Court or a Peace Commissioner shall be in the following form, or in such similar form as the circumstances may require:—

Be it remembered that on the_________________day of _____________, in the year of our Lord_________________, A. B., of______________(labourer), C. D., of________________(grocer), and E. F., of_______________(butcher), personally came before me the undersigned, a District Justice in Saorstát Eireann (or a...

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