Criminal Procedure Act 1967

F78 [ Reference of question of law to Supreme Court.

34

34. (1) Where a person tried on indictment is acquitted (whether in respect of the whole or part of the indictment) the Attorney General in any case or, if he or she is the prosecuting authority in the trial, the Director of Public Prosecutions F79 [ may, without prejudice to the verdict or decision in favour of the accused person, refer a question of law arising during the trial to the Court of Appeal for determination or, in the case of a person who is tried on indictment in the Central Criminal Court, make application to the Supreme Court under Article 34.5.4 ° of the Constitution to refer a question of law arising during the trial to it for determination ] .

(2) Where a question of law is referred to F79 [ the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, ] under subsection (1), the statement of the question shall be settled by the Attorney General or the Director of Public Prosecutions, as may be appropriate, after consultation with the trial judge concerned or, in the case of a Special Criminal Court, with the member of that Court who pronounced the decision of the Court in the trial concerned following consultation by that member with the other members of the Court concerned and shall include any observations which the judge or that member, as may be appropriate, may wish to add.

(3) For the purpose of considering a question referred to it under this section, F79 [ the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, ] shall hear argument

( a ) by, or by counsel on behalf of, the Attorney General or the Director of Public Prosecutions, as may be appropriate,

( b ) if the acquitted person so wishes, by counsel on his or her behalf or, with the leave of the Court, by the acquitted person himself or herself, and

( c ) if counsel are assigned under subsection (4), such counsel.

(4) F79 [ The Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, ] shall assign counsel to argue in support of the decision if

( a ) the acquitted person waives his or her right to be represented or heard under subsection (3)( b ), or

( b ) notwithstanding the fact that the acquitted person exercises his or her right to be represented or heard under subsection (3)( b ), the Court considers it desirable in the public interest to do so.

(5) F79 [ The Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, ] shall ensure, in so far as it is reasonably practicable to do so, that the identity of the acquitted person in proceedings F79 [ referred to in this section ] is not disclosed in connection with the proceedings unless the person agrees to the use of his or her name in the proceedings.

F79 [ (6) If the acquitted person wishes to be represented in proceedings referred to in this section before the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, and a legal aid (appeal) certificate, or as the case may be, a legal aid (Supreme Court) certificate, is granted under subsection (7) or is deemed to have been granted under subsection (8), he or she shall be entitled to free legal aid in the preparation and presentation of any argument that he or she wishes to make to the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, and to have a solicitor and counsel assigned to him or her for that purpose in the manner prescribed by regulations under section 10 of the Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Act 1962 . ]

F79 [ (7) The acquitted person may, in relation to proceedings referred to in this section, apply for a legal aid (appeal) certificate to the Court of Appeal or a legal aid (Supreme Court) certificate to the Supreme Court, as the case may be, either

(a) by letter to the registrar of the Court of Appeal or, as the case may be, the registrar of the Supreme Court, setting out the facts of the case and the grounds of the application, or

(b) to the Court of Appeal, or the Supreme Court, itself, as the case may be,

and the Court concerned shall grant the certificate if (but only if) it appears to the Court that the means of the person are insufficient to enable him or her to obtain legal aid. ]

(8) If a legal aid (trial on indictment) certificate was granted in respect of the acquitted person in relation to the trial on indictment concerned, F79 [ a legal aid (appeal) certificate or a legal aid (Supreme Court) certificate, as the case may be, ] shall be deemed to have been granted in respect of him or her in relation to proceedings F79 [ referred to in ] section.

(9) In this section legal aid (Supreme Court) certificate F80 [ , legal aid (appeal) certificate ] and legal aid (trial on indictment) certificate have the meanings they have in the Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Act 1962. ]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F78

Substituted (1.08.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 21, S.I. No. 390 of 2006.

F79

Substituted (28.10.2014) by Court of Appeal Act 2014 (18/2014), ss. 47(a)-(h), S.I. No. 479 of 2014.

F80

Inserted (28.10.2014) by Court of Appeal Act 2014 (18/2014), s. 47(i), S.I. No. 479 of 2014.

Editorial Notes:

E29

Appeal under this section from the Central Criminal Court was made the exclusive means of appeal to the Supreme Court except for constitutional cases (29.12.1993) by Criminal Procedure Act 1993 (40/1993), s. 11, commenced on enactment and confirmed by Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 (31/1995), s. 44, not commenced as of 7.05.2013.

E30

Previous affecting provision: application of section extended (19.01.1975) by Prosecution of Offences Act 1974 (22/1974), s. 3(4), S.I. No. 3 of 1975; superseded by substitution and F-note above.