Criminal Justice

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 24th February 2005.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ian Paisley Ian Paisley Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether offences proscribed in Part II of the draft Criminal Justice (Evidence) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 will include offences committed in respect of children aged 17 years.

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

The Criminal Justice Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 provides the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with a power to prescribe categories of offences which are 'of the same type' for use as an indicator that a defendant has a propensity to commit offences of a certain type. The draft proposed Criminal Justice (Evidence) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 (Categories of Offences) Order 2005 proposes two such categories of offences: Part I deals with offences of theft; Part II deals with sexual offences against persons aged under the age of 17.

While Part II of the draft Order focuses on children aged under 17, any relevant previous conviction—including those committed against persons aged 17 or over—may be admissible at trial even when no relevant category of offences has been introduced. Both Part I and Part II categories are intended as a guide to the judiciary. Nor does the absence of categories for other types of offences prevent previous convictions from being admitted if they demonstrate a propensity to commit a certain type of offence. Further categories may be introduced at a later date.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes2 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.