Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1998

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CitationSI 1998/2839

1998 No. 2839 (N.I. 20)


The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1998

Made 17th November 1998

Laid before Parliament 27th November 1998

Coming into operation in accordance with Article 1(2) and (3)

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 17th day of November 1998


The Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty in Council

Whereas this Order is made only for purposes corresponding to those of sections 2 to 4, 34, 47(5), 57, 61 to 64 and 85 of the1Crime and Disorder Act 1998:

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, in exercise of the powers conferred by paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the2Northern Ireland Act 1974 (as modified by section 118 of the said Act of 1998) and of all other powers enabling Her in that behalf, is pleased, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council, to order, and it is hereby ordered, as follows:—

Title and commencement
S-1 Title and commencement

Title and commencement

1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1998.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), this Order shall come into operation on the expiration of 14 days from the day on which it is made.

(3) Articles 4 to 11 shall come into operation on such day or days as the Secretary of State may by order appoint.

S-2 Interpretation


2.—(1) The 3Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 shall apply to Article 1 and the following provisions of this Order as it applies to a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(2) In this Order—

“drug treatment and testing order” means an order made by a court under Article 8(2);

“responsible officer”, in relation to a drug treatment and testing order, means a probation officer;

“sex offender order” means an order under Article 6(3);

“statutory provision” has the meaning assigned to it by section 1(f) of the4Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954;

“the testing requirement” means the testing required under a drug treatment and testing order;

“the treatment and testing period” means such period of not less than 6 months nor more than 3 years as may be specified in a drug treatment and testing order;

“the treatment provider” means the person specified under Article 9(1);

“the treatment requirement” means the treatment required under a drug treatment and testing order.

(3) In this Order expressions which are also used in Part II of the5Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 have the same meanings as in that Part.

Criminal law

Criminal law

S-3 Abolition of rebuttable presumption that a child is doli incapax

Abolition of rebuttable presumption that a child is doli incapax

3. The rebuttable presumption of criminal law that a child age 10 or over is incapable of committing an offence is hereby abolished.

Criminal procedure

Criminal procedure

S-4 Remands by youth courts

Remands by youth courts

4. After Article 30 of the 6Criminal Justice (Children) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 there shall be inserted—


Power of youth courts in relation to remands

30A. A youth court shall not be required to adjourn any proceedings for an offence at any stage by reason only of the fact—

(a) that the court commits the accused for trial for another offence; or

(b) that the accused is charged with another offence.”.

S-5 Use of live television links at hearings for the purposes of remand

Use of live television links at hearings for the purposes of remand

5.—(1) In any proceedings for an offence, a court may, after hearing representations from the parties, direct that the accused shall be treated as being present in the court for any particular hearing before the start of the trial (other than a hearing at which the court may commit the accused for trial) if, during that hearing—


(a) he is held in custody in a prison or other institution; and


(b) whether by means of a live television link or otherwise, he is able to see and hear the court and to be seen and heard by it.

(2) A court shall not give a direction under paragraph (1) unless—


(a) it has been notified by the Secretary of State that facilities are available for enabling persons held in custody in the institution in which the accused is or is to be so held to see and hear the court and to be seen and heard by it; and


(b) the notice has not been withdrawn.

(3) If in a case where it has power to do so a magistrates' court decides not to give a direction under paragraph (1), it shall give its reasons for not doing so.

(4) In this Article “the start of the trial”—


(a) in the case of a trial on indictment, has the meaning given by section 39(3) of the7Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996; and


(b) in the case of a summary trial, shall be taken to occur—

(i) when the court begins to hear evidence for the prosecution at the trial or to consider whether to exercise its power under Article 44(4) of the8Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 (power to make hospital order without convicting the accused), or

(ii) if the court accepts a plea of guilty without proceeding as mentioned in head (i), when that plea is accepted.

Treatment of offenders

S-6 Sex offender orders

Sex offender orders

6.—(1) If it appears to the Chief Constable that the following conditions are fulfilled with respect to any person in Northern Ireland, namely—


(a) that the person is a sex offender; and


(b) that the person has acted, since the relevant date, in such a way as to give reasonable cause to believe that an order under this Article is necessary to protect the public from serious harm from him,

the Chief Constable may apply for an order under this Article to be made in respect of the person.

(2) Such an application shall be made by way of complaint under Part VIII of the9Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 to a court of summary jurisdiction for the petty sessions district which includes any place where it is alleged that the defendant acted in such a way as is mentioned in paragraph (1)(b).

(3) If, on such an application, it is proved that the conditions mentioned in paragraph (1) are fulfilled, the court may make an order under this Article (a “sex offender order”) which prohibits the defendant from doing anything described in the order.

(4) The prohibitions that may be imposed by a sex offender order are those necessary for the purpose of protecting the public from serious harm from the defendant.

(5) A sex offender order shall have effect for a period (not less than 5 years) specified in the order or until further order; and while such an order has effect, Part I of the10Sex Offenders Act 1997 shall have effect as if—


(a) the defendant were subject to the notification requirements of that Part; and


(b) in relation to the defendant, the relevant date (within the meaning of that Part) were the date of service of the order.

(6) Subject to paragraph (7), the applicant or the defendant may apply for the variation or discharge of the sex offender order by a further order.

(7) Except with the consent of both parties, no sex offender order shall be discharged before the end of the period of 5 years beginning with the date of service of the order.

(8) If without reasonable excuse a person does anything which he is prohibited from doing by a sex offender order, he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable—


(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both; or


(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to a fine, or to both.

(9) Where a person is convicted of an offence under paragraph (8), it shall not be open to the court by or before which he is so convicted to make an order under paragraph (1)(b) (conditional discharge) of Article 4 of the11Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 in respect of the offence.

S-7 Sex offender orders: supplemental

Sex offender orders: supplemental

7.—(1) In Article 6 and this Article “sex offender” means a person who—


(a) has been convicted of a sexual offence to which Part I of the12Sex Offenders Act 1997 applies;


(b) has been found not guilty of such an offence by reason of insanity, or found to be under a disability and to have done the act charged against him in respect of such an offence;


(c) has been cautioned by a constable, in Northern Ireland or England and Wales, in respect of such an offence which, at the time when the caution was given, he had admitted; or


(d) has been punished under the law in force in a country or territory outside the United Kingdom for an act which—

(i) constituted an offence under that law; and

(ii) would have constituted a sexual offence to which that Part applies if it had been done in any part of the United Kingdom.

(2) In paragraph (1) of Article 6 “the relevant date”, in relation to a sex offender, means—


(a) the date or, as the case may be, the latest date on which he has been convicted, found, cautioned or punished as mentioned in paragraph (1); or


(b) if later, the date of the coming into operation of that Article.

(3) Subsections (2) and (3) of section 6 of the13Sex Offenders Act 1997 apply for the construction of references in paragraphs (1) and (2) as they apply for the construction of references in Part I of that Act.

(4) An act punishable under the law in force in any country or territory outside the United Kingdom constitutes an offence under that law for the purposes of paragraph (1), however it is described in that law.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6), the condition in paragraph (1)(d)(i) shall be taken to be satisfied unless, not later than magistrates' court rules may provide, the defendant serves on the applicant a notice—


(a) stating that, on the facts as alleged with respect to the act in question, the condition is not in his opinion satisfied;


(b) showing his grounds for that opinion; and


(c) requiring the applicant to show that it is satisfied.

(6) The court,...

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