Criminal Law Amendment Act 1867

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1867 c. 35
Year1867


Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1867

(30 & 31 Vict.) C A P. XXXV.

An Act to remove some Defects in the Administration of the Criminal Law.

[20th June 1867]

W HEREAS it is found that Delay and Inconvenience are frequently caused by the Provisions contained in the First Section of the Act Twenty-second and Twenty-thirdVictoria , Chapter Seventeen, in Cases not within the Mischief for Remedy whereof the same Act was made and passed, and it is expedient to restrict the Operation thereof:

Be 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:

S-1 Limitation of 22 & 23 Vict. c. 17.

1 Limitation of 22 & 23 Vict. c. 17.

1. That the said Provisions of the said First Section of the said Act shall not extend or be applicable to prevent the Presentment to or finding by a Grand Jury of any Bill of Indictment containing a Count or Counts for any of the Offences mentioned in the said Act, if such Count or Counts be such as may now be lawfully joined with the rest of such Bill of Indictment, and if the same Count or Counts be founded (in the Opinion of the Court in or before which the same Bill of Indictment be preferred) upon the Facts or Evidence disclosed in any Examinations or Depositions taken before a Justice of the Peace, in the Presence of the Person accused or proposed to be accused by such Bill of Indictment, and transmitted or delivered to such Court in due Course of Law; and nothing in the said Act shall extend or be applicable to prevent the Presentment to or finding by a Grand Jury of any Bill of Indictment, if such Bill be presented to the Grand Jury with the Consent of the Court in or before which the same may be preferred.

S-2 On Acquittal, &c. of Person indicted, who has not been committed or held to Bail, Court may order Prosecutor to pay Costs to Accused if it think the Prosecution unreasonable.

2 On Acquittal, &c. of Person indicted, who has not been committed or held to Bail, Court may order Prosecutor to pay Costs to Accused if it think the Prosecution unreasonable.

2. Whenever any Bill of Indictment shall be preferred to any Grand Jury, under the Provisions of the Act Twenty-second and Twenty-thirdVictoria , Chapter Seventeen, against any Person who has not been committed to or detained in Custody, or bound by Recognizance to answer such Indictment, and the Person accused thereby shall be acquitted thereon, it shall be lawful for the Court before which such Indictment shall be tried, in its Discretion, to direct and order that the Prosecutor or other Person by or at whose Instance such Indictment shall have been preferred shall pay unto the accused Person the just and reasonable Costs, Charges, and Expenses of such accused Person and his Witnesses (if any) caused or occasioned by or consequent upon the preferring of such Bill of Indictment, to be taxed by the proper Officer of the Court; and upon Nonpayment of such Costs, Charges, and Expenses within One Calendar Month after the Date of such Direction and Order, it shall be lawful for any of the Superior Courts of Law atWest-minster , or any Judge thereof, or for the Justices and Judges of the Central Criminal Court (if the Bill of Indictment has been preferred in that Court), to issue against the Person on whom such Order is made such and the like Writ or Writs, Process or Processes, as may now be lawfully issued by any of the said Superior Courts for enforcing Judgments thereof.

S-3 Accused Person to be asked by Justice if he desire to call Witnesses.

3 Accused Person to be asked by Justice if he desire to call Witnesses.

3. And whereas Complaint is frequently made by Persons charged with indictable Offences, upon their Trial, that they are unable by reason of Poverty to call Witnesses on their Behalf, and that Injustice is thereby occasioned to them; and it is expedient to remove, as far as practicable, all just Ground for such Complaint: Therefore, in all Cases where any Person shall appear or be brought before any Justice or Justices of the Peace, charged with any indictable Offence, whether committed within this Realm or upon the High Seas or upon Land beyond the Sea, and whether such Person appear voluntarily upon Summons, or has been apprehended with or without Warrant, or be in Custody for the same or any other Offence, such Justice or Justices, before he or they shall commit such accused Person for Trial or admit him to Bail, shall, immediately after obeying the Directions of the Eighteenth Section of the Act Eleventh and TwelfthVictoria , Chapter Forty-two, demand and require of the accused Person whether he desires to call any Witness; and if the accused Person shall, in answer to such Demand, call or desire to call any Witness or Witnesses, such Justice or Justices shall, in the Presence of such accused Person, take the Statement on Oath or Affirmation, both Examination and Cross-examination, of those who shall be so called as Witnesses by such accused Person, and who shall know anything relating to the Facts and Circumstances of the Case or anything tending to prove the Innocence of such accused Person, and shall put the same into Writing; and such Depositions of such Witnesses shall be read over to and signed respectively by the Witnesses who shall have been so examined, and shall be signed also by the Justice or Justices taking the same, and transmitted in due Course of Law with the Depositions, and such Witnesses, not being Witnesses merely to the Character of the Accused, as shall in the Opinion of the Justice or Justices give Evidence in any way material to the Case or tending to prove the Innocence of the accused Person, shall be bound by...

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