Criminal Evidence Act 1992
F21 [ Protection against cross-examination by accused
14C. (1) Where —
(a) a person is accused of F22 [ a relevant offence ] , and
(b) a person under the age of 18 years is to give evidence,
the court shall direct that the accused may not personally cross-examine the witness unless the court is of the opinion that the interests of justice require the accused to conduct the cross-examination personally.
(2) Where —
(a) a person is accused of a sexual offence, and
(b) a person who has attained the age of 18 years (being a person in respect of whom a sexual offence is alleged to have been committed) is to give evidence,
the court may direct that the accused may not personally cross- examine the witness unless the court is of the opinion that the interests of justice require the accused to conduct the cross-examination personally.
(3) Where an accused person is prevented from cross-examining a witness by virtue of subsection (1) or (2) , the court shall —
(a) invite the accused person to arrange for a legal representative to act for him or her for the purpose of cross-examining the witness, and
(b) require the accused person to notify the court, by the end of such period as it may specify, as to whether a legal representative is to act for the accused for that purpose.
(4) If by the end of the period referred to in subsection (3)(b) , the accused has notified the court that no legal representative is to act for him or her for the purpose of cross-examining the witness or no notification has been received by the court and it appears to the court that no legal representative is to so act, the court shall consider whether it is necessary, in the interests of justice, for the witness to be cross-examined by a legal representative appointed to represent the interests of the accused person.
(5) If the court decides it is necessary, in the interests of justice, for the witness to be so cross-examined, the court shall appoint a legal representative (chosen by the court) to cross-examine the witness on behalf of the accused.
(6) Where, in a jury trial, an accused person is prevented from cross-examining a witness in person by virtue of this section, the court shall give the jury such warning (if any) as it considers necessary to ensure that the accused person is not prejudiced —
(a) by any inferences that might be drawn from the fact that the accused has been prevented from cross-examining the witness in person, or
(b) where the witness has been cross-examined by a legal representative appointed under subsection (5) , by the fact that the cross-examination was carried out by such a legal representative and not by a person acting as the legal representative of the accused.
(7) In addition to the meaning assigned to that expression by section 27 of the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 , ‘ legal aid ’ in that Act means representation by a solicitor or barrister, engaged by the Legal Aid Board under section 11 of that Act on behalf of the accused in relation to the cross-examination of a witness under subsection (3) . ]
Inserted (30.05.2018) by Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 (2/2017), s. 36, S.I. No. 172 of 2018.
Substituted (30.05.2018) by Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017 (28/2017), s. 30(g), S.I. No. 173 of 2018.
Entitlement of accused to legal aid certificate in respect of cross-examinations to which section applies prescribed by Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 (32/1995), s. 28(5B), as inserted (30.05.2018) by Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 (2/2017), s. 40, S.I. No. 172 of 2018.