Criminal Justice Act 1984

Proof by written statement.

21

21. (1) In any proceedings against a person for an offence F56 [ , other than the hearing of an application under Part IA of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1967 , for the dismissal of a charge, ] a written statement by any person shall, if such of the conditions mentioned in subsection (2) as are applicable are satisfied, be admissible as evidence to the like extent as oral evidence to the like effect by that person.

(2) The said conditions are:

( a) the statement purports to be signed by the person who made it;

( b) the statement contains a declaration by that person to the effect that it is true to the best of his knowledge and belief and that he made the statement knowing that, if it were tendered in evidence, he would be liable to prosecution if he stated in it anything which he knew to be false or did not believe to be true;

( c) a copy of the statement is served, by or on behalf of the party proposing to tender it in evidence, on each of the other parties to the proceedings; and

( d) none of the other parties or their solicitors, within twenty-one days from the service of the copy of the statement, serves on the party so proposing a notice objecting to the statement being tendered in evidence under this section.

(3) The conditions mentioned in paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection (2) shall not apply if the parties agree at the hearing or the parties or their solicitors agree before the hearing that the statement shall be so tendered.

(4) The following provisions shall also have effect in relation to any written statement tendered in evidence under this section:

( a) if the statement is made by a person under the age of twenty-one years, it shall give his age;

( b) if it is made by a person who cannot read it, it shall be read to him before he signs it and shall be accompanied by a declaration by the person who so read the statement to the effect that it was so read; and

( c) if it refers to any other document as an exhibit, the copy served on any other party to the proceedings under subsection (2) (c) shall be accompanied by a copy of that document or by such information as may be necessary in order to enable the party on whom it is served to inspect that document or a copy thereof.

(5) Notwithstanding that a written statement made by any person may be admissible as evidence by virtue of this section—

( a) the party by whom or on whose behalf a copy of the statement was served may call that person to give evidence, and

( b) the court may, of its own motion or on the application of any party to the proceedings, require that person to attend before the court and give evidence.

(6) An application under subsection (5) (b) may be made before the hearing in a case in which the proceedings are in the Central Criminal Court, the Circuit Court or the Special Criminal Court and, for this purpose, the powers of the Central Criminal Court shall be exercisable by any judge of the High Court and the powers of the Circuit Court shall be exercisable by any judge of that court.

(7) So much of any statement as is admitted as evidence by virtue of this section shall, unless the court otherwise directs, be read aloud at the hearing.

(8) Any document or object referred to as an exhibit and identified in a written statement tendered in evidence under this section shall be treated as if it had been produced as an exhibit and identified in court by the maker of the statement.

(9) A document required by this section to be served on any person may, subject to subsection (10), be served—

( a) by delivering it to him or to his solicitor,

( b) by addressing it to him and leaving it at his usual or last known residence or place of business or by addressing it to his solicitor and leaving it at the solicitor’s office,

( c) by sending it by registered post to him at his usual or last known residence or place of business or to his solicitor at the solicitor’s office, or

( d) in the case of a body corporate, by delivering it to the secretary or clerk of the body at its registered or principal office or sending it by registered post to the secretary or clerk of that body at that office.

(10) A document required by this section to be served on an accused shall, if the accused is not represented by a solicitor, be served personally on the accused.

(11) Where—

( a) a statement is tendered in evidence by virtue of this section, and

( b) the person by whom the statement was made has stated in it anything which he knew to be false or did not believe to be true,

he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both, or on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding £2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both.

(12) This section shall also apply to a written statement made outside the State with the omission from subsection (2) (b) of the words from “ and that he made the statement” to the end of the paragraph, and the omission of subsection (11).

Annotations

Amendments:

F56

Substituted (1.10.2001) by Criminal Justice Act 1999 (10/1999), s. 16(4), S.I. No. 193 of 2001.