Criminal Justice Act 1984

Abolition of right of accused to make unsworn statement.

23

23. (1) In any proceedings against a person for an offence the accused shall not be entitled to make a statement without being sworn and, accordingly, if he gives evidence, he shall do so on oath and be liable to cross-examination, but this shall not—

( a) affect the right of the accused, if not represented by counsel or a solicitor, to address the court or jury otherwise than on oath on any matter on which, if he were so represented, his counsel or solicitor could address the court or jury on his behalf,

( b) affect any trial, or the preliminary examination of any indictable offence, commenced before the commencement of this section.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall prevent the accused from making a statement without being sworn—

( a) if it is one which he is required by law to make personally, or

( b) if he makes it by way of mitigation before the court passes sentence upon him.

(3) The following provisions are hereby repealed:

( a) paragraph ( h) of the proviso to section 1 of the Criminal Justice (Evidence) Act, 1924, and

( b) section 7 (4) of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1967, and, in section 8 (2) of that Act, the words from “proceed in accordance with” to “ paragraph ( a), ”.