Criminal Justice Act 2006


Admissibility of certain witness statements.

16.— (1) Where a person has been sent forward for trial for an arrestable offence, a statement relevant to the proceedings made by a witness (in this section referred to as “the statement”) may, with the leave of the court, be admitted in accordance with this section as evidence of any fact mentioned in it if the witness, although available for cross-examination—

(a) refuses to give evidence,

(b) denies making the statement, or

(c) gives evidence which is materially inconsistent with it.

(2) The statement may be so admitted if—

(a) the witness confirms, or it is proved, that he or she made it,

(b) the court is satisfied—

(i) that direct oral evidence of the fact concerned would be admissible in the proceedings,

(ii) that it was made voluntarily, and

(iii) that it is reliable,


(c) either—

(i) the statement was given on oath or affirmation or contains a statutory declaration by the witness to the effect that the statement is true to the best of his or her knowledge or belief, or

(ii) the court is otherwise satisfied that when the statement was made the witness understood the requirement to tell the truth.

(3) In deciding whether the statement is reliable the court shall have regard to—

(a) whether it was given on oath or affirmation or was videorecorded, or

(b) if paragraph (a) does not apply in relation to the statement, whether by reason of the circumstances in which it was made, there is other sufficient evidence in support of its reliability,

and shall also have regard to—

(i) any explanation by the witness for refusing to give evidence or for giving evidence which is inconsistent with the statement, or

(ii) where the witness denies making the statement, any evidence given in relation to the denial.

(4) The statement shall not be admitted in evidence under this section if the court is of opinion—

(a) having had regard to all the circumstances, including any risk that its admission would be unfair to the accused or, if there are more than one accused, to any of them, that in the interests of justice it ought not to be so admitted, or

(b) that its admission is unnecessary, having regard to other evidence given in the proceedings.

(5) In estimating the weight, if any, to be attached to the statement regard shall be had to all the circumstances from which any inference can reasonably be drawn as to its accuracy or otherwise.

(6) This section is without prejudice to sections 3 to 6 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1865 and section 21 (proof by written statement) of the Act of 1984.