Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act 1887

Citation1887 c. 20

Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887

(50 & 51 Vict.) CHAPTER 20.

An Act to make better provision for the prevention and punishment of Crime in Ireland, and for other purposes relating thereto.

[19th July 1887]

B E it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Preliminary Inquiry.

Preliminary Inquiry.

S-1 Inquiry by order of Attorney-General.

1 Inquiry by order of Attorney-General.

(1)—(1.) Where a sworn information has been made that any offence to which this section applies has been committed in a proclaimed district, the Attorney-General for Ireland may, if he thinks fit, by order in writing under his hand, direct a resident magistrate, of whose legal knowledge and legal experience the Lord Chancellor shall be satisfied, to hold an inquiry under this section, and thereupon such resident magistrate may, if he so think fit, although no person may be charged before him with the commission of such crime, sit at a police court, when the offence has been committed in Dublin, or at the place where the petty sessions for the petty sessional district in which the said offence has been committed are usually held, and examine on oath concerning such offence any person whom he has reason to believe to be capable of giving material evidence concerning such offence, other than any person confessing himself or herself to be the offender or the husband or wife of such person, and shall take the deposition of such witness, and, if he see cause, may bind such witness by his own recognizance to appear and give evidence at the next petty sessions, or when called upon within three months from the date of such recognizance: Provided that no sitting of any inquiry under this section shall commence except between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. : Provided also, that a shorthand writer shall be in attendance at such inquiries, and shall take down the questions of the magistrate, and the answers of each witness, and such questions and answers, when transcribed, shall be annexed to the deposition of the witness: Provided also, that upon any person being accused of a crime respecting which an inquiry under this section has been held, such accused person, on his being returned for trial, or his solicitor, shall forthwith be supplied with copies of all depositions taken at any inquiry under this section of any witness to be called against him.

(2) (2.) The enactments contained in the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851 , section 13, relating to the compelling of the attendance of a witness before a justice and to a witness attending before a justice and required to give evidence concerning the matter of an information or complaint for an indictable offence or concerning the matter of an information or complaint in respect of an offence punishable upon summary conviction, as the case may be, shall apply for the purposes of this section as if they were re-enacted herein and in terms made applicable thereto: Provided, that in case a warrant shall be issued for the arrest of any witness in the first instance, and without any summons having previously been served and disobeyed, such witness shall, on demand, be entitled to receive from the resident magistrate holding the inquiry a copy of the information or complaint on which the warrant for his arrest was issued.

(3) (3.) Where a witness, examined at an inquiry under this section, is under the age of twelve years, the parent or guardian of such witness, or the relative or friend with whom such witness usually resides, shall be entitled to attend at such inquiry.

(4) (4.) A resident magistrate, holding an inquiry under this section, shall himself conduct such inquiry, and shall not permit any other person to question or examine any witness.

(5) (5.) A witness examined under this section shall not be excused from answering any question on the ground that the answer thereto may criminate, or tend to criminate, himself:

Provided that—

(a .) A witness who answers truly all questions which he is required to answer, shall be entitled to a certificate under the hand of the magistrate making such examination, stating that such witness has so answered, and such a certificate shall be a bar to all criminal proceedings against such witness in respect of any offence, not being a felony, as to which he has been examined in such inquiry; and

(b .) Any confession or answer by a person to a question put at such examination shall not, except in the case of any criminal proceeding for perjury committed at or after the holding of such inquiry, be, in any proceeding, civil or criminal, admissible in evidence against such person, or the husband or wife of such person;

(c .) Provided that if any person has been charged with the commission of the crime which is the subject of the inquiry, no witness, while the said charge is pending, shall be compelled to answer who has been called to give evidence for the defence of such accused person.

(6) (6.) Except with the consent of the witness under examination, no person other than the magistrate and other official person, shall be present at such inquiry.

Save as aforesaid, a witness examined under this section concerning an offence shall not be required to answer any question which he might lawfully refuse to answer on the ground of privilege, if he were being examined as a witness at the trial of a person charged with that offence.

(7) (7.) A magistrate who conducts the examination under this section of a person concerning any offence shall not, if such offence is punishable on summary conviction, take part in the hearing and determination of a charge for that offence; and shall not, if such offence is an indictable offence, take part in the taking depositions against or committing for trial any person for such offence.

(8) (8.) In case any witness examined under this section shall not speak English, the interpreter employed shall not be a policeman.

(9) (9.) The offences to which this section applies are any felony or misdemeanor and any offence punishable under this Act, committed in a proclaimed district, whether committed before or after the passing of this Act, provided that no inquiry shall be held under this section concerning any offence punishable under this Act committed in any district before the proclamation of such district, unless such offence would have been indictable if this Act had not passed, and unless such offence was committed since the expiry of the Prevention of Crime (Ireland) Act, 1882 .

(10) (10.) Every summons under this section shall be in the form in the schedule to this Act, or to the like effect.

Every warrant to commit a witness to prison for refusing to answer a question put to him on an examination held under this section shall set out the question which the witness refused to answer.

There shall be published quarterly in the ‘Dublin Gazette’ a return showing the number of inquiries held during the preceding quarter, the hours during which such inquiries have been held, the number of days occupied, the number of summonses issued, the number of witnesses examined, the names of, and the sentences on, the persons committed for contempt, and the result, if any, of each inquiry.

Summary Jurisdiction .

Summary Jurisdiction .

S-2 Extension of summary jurisdiction.

2 Extension of summary jurisdiction.

Any person who shall commit an offence mentioned in subsection 3 ( a ) of this section anywhere in Ireland, or shall commit commit any of the following offences in a Proclaimed District may be prosecuted before a court of summary jurisdiction under this Act—

(1) (1.) Any person who shall take part in any criminal conspiracy now punishable by law to compel or induce any person or persons either not to fulfil his or their legal obligations, or not to let, hire, use, or occupy any land, or not to deal with, work for, or hire any person or persons in the ordinary course of trade, business, or occupation; or to interfere with the administration of the law:

(2) (2.) Any person who shall wrongfully and without legal authority use violence or intimidation—

( a .) to or towards any person or persons with a view to cause any person or persons either to do any act which such person or persons has or have a legal right to abstain from doing, or to abstain from doing any act which such person or persons has or have a legal right to do; or

( b .) to or towards any person or persons in consequence, either of his or their having done any act which he or they had a legal right to do, or of his or their having abstained from doing any act which he or they had a legal right to abstain from doing:

(3.)—( a .) Any person who shall take part in any riot or unlawful assembly; or

( b .) within twelve months after the execution of any writ of possession of any house or land shall wrongfully take or hold forcible possession of such house or land or any part thereof; or

( c .) shall assault, or wilfully and unlawfully resist or obstruct, any sheriff, constable, bailiff, process server, or other minister of the law, while in the execution of his duty, or shall assault him in consequence of such execution:

(4) (4.) Any person who shall incite any other person to commit any of the offences herein-before mentioned.

Special Jury and Removal of Trial .

Special Jury and Removal of Trial .

S-3 Order for special jury.

3 Order for special jury.

Where an indictment for a crime committed in a proclaimed district has been found against a defendant, or a defendant has been committed for trial for such crime, and the trial is to be by a jury before a court in Ireland other than a court of quarter sessions, the High Court shall on an application by or on behalf of the Attorney General for Ireland or a defendant make an order, as of course, that the...

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