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29 2007

Criminal Justice Act 2007

PART 2

Amendment of Enactments Relating to Bail

Amendment of section 1 of Act of 1997.

5 .— Section 1 of the Act of 1997 is amended in subsection (1) by the insertion of the following definitions:

“ ‘authorised person’ means a person who is appointed in writing by the Minister, or a person who is one of a prescribed class of persons, to be an authorised person for the purposes of sections 6B and 6C;

‘ Minister ’ means Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform;

‘prescribed’ means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister;”.

Statement by applicants for bail charged with serious offences.

6 .— The Act of 1997 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 1:

“1A.— (1) A person who is charged with a serious offence and applies for bail (in this section referred to as ‘the applicant’) shall, subject to subsections (4) and (5)(c), furnish to the prosecutor a written statement duly signed by the applicant and containing the following information relating to the applicant:

(a) his or her name and any other name or names previously used;

(b) his or her current occupation and any previous occupation or occupations within the immediately preceding 3 years;

(c) his or her source or sources of income within the immediately preceding 3 years;

(d) his or her property, whether wholly or partially owned by, or under the control of, the applicant and whether within or outside the State;

(e) any previous conviction or convictions of the applicant for a serious offence;

(f) any previous conviction or convictions of the applicant for an offence or offences committed while on bail;

(g) any previous application or applications by the person for bail, indicating whether or not it was granted and, if granted, the conditions to which the recognisance was subject.

(2) The statement shall be in the prescribed form or a form to the like effect.

(3) The statement shall be furnished to the prosecutor—

(a) where written notice of the application for bail is not required, as soon as reasonably practicable before the application is made, or

(b) where such notice is required, on service of the notice.

(4) The requirement in subsection (1) to furnish a statement may be dispensed with where—

(a) the prosecutor states an intention to consent to the grant of bail, or

(b) the applicant and prosecutor consent to dispensing with the requirement.

(5) The court may by order:

(a) extend the period for production by the applicant of the statement;

(b) adjourn the hearing of the application pending production of the statement;

(c) dispense with the need to comply with subsection (1) if satisfied that there is good and sufficient reason for doing so;

(d) impose such conditions as it considers just in any order made by it under this section.

(6) The statement shall be received in evidence without further proof in proceedings under this section if it purports to be signed by the applicant.

(7) In proceedings under this section any witness may, with the leave of the court, be examined on the content of the statement.

(8) No information relating to the statement or any part of it shall be published in a written publication available to the public or be broadcast, unless the court otherwise directs.

(9) The court may, if it considers that publication of any examination of the applicant in relation to the statement or any part of it or of any submissions made to the court may prejudice the applicant’s right to a fair trial, by order direct that no information relating to the examination or submissions be published in a written publication available to the public or be broadcast.

(10) The court, when making an order under subsection (9), may specify the duration of the order and may at any time vary or set aside the order.

(11) An applicant who knowingly gives false or misleading information or conceals any material fact, either in the statement or in evidence in proceedings under this section, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.

(12) Any information contained in the statement is not admissible in evidence in any other proceedings or matter, except in proceedings against the applicant under subsection (11).

(13) The court may consider an application for bail, notwithstanding a failure by the applicant to furnish the statement.

(14) Nothing in this section limits the jurisdiction of a court to grant bail.

(15) Subsection (2) of section 4 applies in relation to the hearing of evidence in relation to the statement and subsections (4) to (7) of that section apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (8) or (9) of this section, in each case with the necessary modifications.

(16) In this section ‘ property ’ means—

(a) cash, money in an account in a financial institution, cheques, bank drafts and transferable securities (including shares, warrants and debentures),

(b) land,

(c) mechanically propelled vehicles, and

(d) any other asset exceeding €3,000 in value.”.

Evidence in applications for bail under section 2.

7 .— The Act of 1997 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 2:

“2A.— (1) Where a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of chief superintendent, in giving evidence in proceedings under section 2, states that he or she believes that refusal of the application is reasonably necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence by that person, the statement is admissible as evidence that refusal of the application is reasonably necessary for that purpose.

(2) Evidence given by such a member in the proceedings is not admissible in any criminal proceedings against the applicant.

(3) The court may, if it considers that publication of evidence given by such a member under subsection (1) or of any part of it may prejudice the accused person’s right to a fair trial, by order direct that no information relating to the evidence or that part, or to any examination of the member, be published in a written publication or be broadcast.

(4) The court, when making an order under subsection (3), may specify the duration of the order and may at any time vary or set aside the order as it sees fit and subject to such conditions as it may impose.

(5) Subsection (2) of section 4 applies in relation to the hearing of the evidence of the member and subsections (4) to (7) of that section apply in relation to a contravention of subsection (3) of this section, in each case with the necessary modifications.

(6) Nothing in this section is to be construed as prejudicing the admission in proceedings under section 2 of other evidence of belief, or of evidence of opinion, whether tendered by any member of the Garda Síochána or other person.

(7) Nothing in this section limits the jurisdiction of a court to grant bail.”.

Amendment of section 5 of Act of 1997.

8 .— Section 5 of the Act of 1997 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1), by the substitution of “any moneys to be paid into court under a recognisance” for “any recognisance”,

(b) in subsection (2), by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph (a):

“(a) Where a court requires payment of moneys into court by a person or any surety as a condition of a recognisance, it may accept as security, in lieu of such payment, any instrument that it considers to be adequate evidence of the title of a person to property (other than land or any estate, right or interest in or over land).”,

and

(c) in subsection (3), by the substitution of “moneys paid” for “recognisance paid”.

Amendment of section 6 of Act of 1997.

9 .— Section 6 of the Act of 1997 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1), by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph (a):

“(a) the recognisance shall, in addition to the condition requiring his or her appearance before the court at the end of the period of remand of the accused person, be subject to the condition that the accused person shall not commit an offence while on bail,”,

and

(b) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (3):

“(3A) A recognisance referred to in subsection (3) shall contain a statement that the accused person may apply to the court at any time to vary or revoke a condition of the recognisance.”.

Application of section 6 in relation to certain appellants.

10 .— The Act of 1997 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 6:

“6A.— Section 6 applies in relation to recognisances entered into by persons appealing against sentences of imprisonment imposed by the District Court with the following modifications:

(a) by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph (a) of subsection (1):

‘(a) the recognisance shall be subject to the following conditions, namely, that the appellant shall—

(i) prosecute the appeal,

(ii) attend the sittings of the Circuit Court until the appeal has been determined, and

(iii) not commit an offence while on bail,’;

(b) references in that section to an accused person or a person charged with an offence are to be construed as references to persons so appealing;

(c) the reference to a court in subsection (8) is to be construed as a reference to the District Court;

and with any other necessary modifications.”.

Electronic monitoring of certain persons admitted to bail.

11 .— The Act of 1997 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 6A:

“6B.— (1) Subject to subsection (2), where a person (in this section referred to as ‘the person’) who—

(a) is charged with a serious offence or is appealing against a sentence of imprisonment imposed by the District Court, and

(b) is admitted to bail on entering into a recognisance which is subject to any of the conditions mentioned in subparagraphs (i) and (iv) of section 6(1)(b),

the court may make the recognisance subject to the following further conditions:

(i) that the person’s movements while on bail are monitored electronically so that his or her compliance or non-compliance with a condition mentioned in any of the said subparagraphs can be established;

(ii) that for that purpose the person has an electronic monitoring device attached to his or her person, either continuously or for such periods as may be specified; and

(iii) that an authorised person is responsible for monitoring the person’s compliance or non-compliance with any condition mentioned in the said subparagraphs or in paragraph (ii) of this subsection.

(2) A recognisance shall not be made subject to the further conditions mentioned in subsection (1)—

(a) if the person is to reside or remain in a particular place, without the consent of the owner of the place or of an adult person habitually residing there, or, as the case may be, of the person in charge of the place, and

(b) unless the person agrees to comply with those further conditions.

(3) The court shall direct that a copy of the recognisance containing the conditions to which it is subject be given to—

(a) the person and any surety,

(b) the member in charge of the Garda Síochána station for the place where the person is residing while the recognisance is in force, and

(c) if an authorised person is to be responsible for monitoring the person’s movements electronically, the authorised person.

(4) The court, on application to it by a person whose recognisance is subject to one or more of the conditions or further conditions referred to in subsection (1), may, if it considers it appropriate to do so, vary a condition of the recognisance, whether by altering or revoking it or by adding a further condition to it.

(5) A recognisance referred to in subsection (3) shall contain a statement that the accused person may apply to the court at any time to vary or revoke a condition of the recognisance.

(6) The prosecutor shall be given notice of, and be entitled to be heard in, any proceedings under subsection (4).

(7) Without prejudice to section 6(5), the court may issue a warrant for the arrest of the person on information being made in writing and on oath by an authorised person, any surety or a member of the Garda Síochána that he or she is about to contravene any of the further conditions referred to in paragraph (i) or (ii) of subsection (1).

(8) Subsections (6) to (9) of section 6 apply, with the necessary modifications, in relation to a warrant issued under subsection (7) of this section as if the warrant had been issued under subsection (5) of that section.

(9) This section does not apply in relation to a person under the age of 18 years.”.

Evidence of electronic monitoring.

12 .— The Act of 1997 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 6B:

“6C.— (1) Where the movements of a person are subject to electronic monitoring as a condition of the recognisance entered into by the person, evidence of his or her—

(a) presence or absence in or from a particular district or place at a particular time, or

(b) compliance or non-compliance with a condition imposed under section 6B(1)(ii) in relation to the wearing of an electronic monitoring device,

may, subject to this section, be given in any proceedings by the production of the following documents:

(i) a statement purporting to be generated automatically or otherwise by a prescribed device by which the person’s whereabouts were electronically monitored;

(ii) a certificate—

(I) that the statement relates to the whereabouts of the person at the dates and times shown in it, and

(II) purporting to be signed by an authorised person who is responsible for monitoring electronically the accused person’s compliance with a condition mentioned in subparagraph (i) or (iv) of section 6(1)(b) or in section 6B(1).

(2) Subject to subsection (3), in any proceedings the statement and certificate mentioned in paragraphs (i) and (ii) of subsection (1) are admissible as evidence of the facts contained in them, unless the contrary is shown.

(3) Neither the statement nor the certificate is so admissible unless a copy of it has been served on the person concerned before the commencement of the proceedings concerned.”.

Arrangements for electronic monitoring.

13 .— The Act of 1997 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 6C:

“6D.— The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, make such arrangements, including contractual arrangements, as he or she considers appropriate with such persons as he or she thinks fit for monitoring electronically the compliance or non-compliance of persons with a condition mentioned in subparagraph (i) or (iv) of section 6(1)(b) or in section 6B(1)(ii).”.

Amendment of section 8 of Act of 1997.

14 .— Section 8 of the Act of 1997 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1), by the insertion of “(if any)” after “amounts”,

(b) in subsection (2), by the substitution of “any moneys conditioned to be paid under a recognisance” for “any recognisance”, and

(c) in subsection (3), by the substitution of “where the courthouse at which the arrested person is conditioned to appear is situate” for “in which the Garda Síochána station is situate”.

Estreatment of recognisance and forfeiture of moneys paid into court.

15 .— The Act of 1997 is amended by the substitution of the following section for section 9:

“9.— (1) This section applies where—

(a) an accused person or a person who is appealing against a sentence of imprisonment imposed by the District Court (in either case referred to in this section as ‘the person’) is admitted to bail on entering into a recognisance conditioned for his or her appearance before a specified court on a specified date at a specified time and place, and

(b) the person—

(i) fails to appear in accordance with the recognisance and the court issues a warrant for his or her arrest, or

(ii) is brought before the court in accordance with subsection (7) and the court is satisfied that the person has contravened a condition of the recognisance.

(2) Where subsection (1) applies, the court may order—

(a) that any moneys conditioned to be paid under the recognisance by the person or any surety be estreated in such amount and within such period as the court thinks fit,

(b) that any sums paid into court by the person or any surety be forfeited in such amount or amounts as the court thinks fit,

(c) where a bank, building society, credit union or An Post deposit book has been accepted as security for the amount of the recognisance, that the entity concerned pay into court that amount, or such lesser amount as the court thinks fit, from the moneys held by the person or any surety on deposit therein, and

(d) where necessary for estreatment, that a receiver be appointed to take possession or control of the property of the person or any surety and to manage or otherwise deal with it in accordance with the directions of the court.

(3) Where a receiver—

(a) appointed under subsection (2)(d) takes any action under this section in relation to property, and

(b) believes, and has reasonable grounds for believing, that he or she is entitled to take that action in relation to the property,

he or she shall not be liable to any person in respect of any loss or damage resulting from the action, except in so far as the loss or damage is caused by his or her negligence.

(4) Money recovered by the receiver may, to the extent necessary, be applied to meet expenses incurred in the performance of his or her functions and the remuneration of any person employed in that connection.

(5) The court may, on the application of a member of the Garda Síochána and on information being made in writing and on oath by or on behalf of the member that the person has contravened a condition of the recognisance (other than the condition referred to in subsection (1)(a)), issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused person.

(6) A member of the Garda Síochána may arrest the person under subsection (5) notwithstanding that the member does not have the warrant concerned in his or her possession at the time of the arrest.

(7) Where subsection (6) applies, the member shall serve the warrant on the arrested person as soon as practicable.

(8) The arrested person shall be brought as soon as practicable before the court.

(9) Where a warrant has been issued under subsection (5), the person and any surety remain bound by their recognisances, and any money paid into court in connection therewith shall not be released before the conclusion of any proceedings under this section.

(10) Where the court makes an order under subsection (2), notice shall be given to the person and any surety stating that an application to vary or discharge the order may be made to the court within 21 days from the date of the issue of the notice.

(11) On such an application, the court may vary or discharge the order if satisfied that compliance with it would cause undue hardship to the person or any surety.

(12) The prosecutor shall be given notice of, and be entitled to be heard in, any proceedings under subsection (11).

(13) If an order under subsection (2)(a) or any variation of it under subsection (11) is not complied with, a warrant of committal of the person for such non-compliance shall be issued by the court and, for the purpose of determining the term of imprisonment to be served by the person, the warrant shall be treated as if it were a warrant for imprisonment for non-payment of a fine equivalent to the amount estreated under the said subsection (2)(a).”.

Regulations.

16 .— The Act of 1997 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 11:

“11A.— (1) The Minister may make regulations prescribing any matter or thing which is referred to in this Act as prescribed or for the purpose of enabling any provision of this Act to have full effect.

(2) The regulations may include such consequential, incidental or supplementary provisions as may be necessary for that purpose.

(3) Regulations under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after they are made and, if a resolution annulling them is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after they are laid before it, the regulations shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.”.

Amendment of Schedule to Act of 1997.

17 .— The Schedule to the Act of 1997 is amended—

(a) by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph 14:

“14. Any offence under the following provisions of the Firearms Act 1925 :

(a) section 2 (restrictions on possession, use, and carriage of firearms);

(b) section 3 (applications for, and form and effect of, firearm certificates);

(c) section 4A(18) (authorisation of rifle or pistol clubs or shooting ranges);

(d) section 10A (reloading of ammunition);

(e) section 15 (possession of firearms with intent to endanger life);

(f) section 25 (punishments).”,

(b) by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph 16:

“16. Any offence under the following provisions of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990 :

(a) section 7 (possession, sale, etc., of silencers);

(b) section 8 (reckless discharge of firearm);

(c) section 9 (possession of knives and other articles);

(d) section 10 (trespassing with a knife, weapon of offence or other article);

(e) section 11 (production of article capable of inflicting serious injury);

(f) section 12 (power to prohibit manufacture, importation, sale, hire or loan of offensive weapons);

(g) section 12A (shortening barrel of shotgun or rifle).”,

(c) by the insertion of the following paragraph after paragraph 16:

“16A. Any offence under section 3 of the Firearms (Firearm Certificates for Non-Residents) Act 2000 (prohibition of false information and alteration of firearm certificates).”,

and

(d) by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph 30:

“30. An offence of attempting or conspiring to commit, or inciting the commission of, any offence mentioned in this Schedule.”.

Amendment of section 22 of Act of 1967.

18 .— Section 22 of the Act of 1967 is amended—

(a) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (1):

“(1A) The Court may admit a person to bail without imposing a condition in the recognisance as to payment of moneys into court by the person if it considers it appropriate to do so, having regard to the circumstances of the case, including the means of the person and the nature of the offence in relation to which the person is in custody.”,

(b) by the substitution of the following subsections for subsections (2) and (3):

“(2) The Court may, instead of taking a recognisance from a person in accordance with subsection (1)—

(a) determine the conditions to be contained in the recognisance, including the amount of any moneys to be paid into court under it, with a view to its being subsequently taken, and

(b) in the meantime commit the person concerned to custody in accordance with paragraph (a) of that subsection.

(3) A recognisance referred to in subsection (2) may be taken by any judge of the District Court.”.

Amendment of section 28 of Act of 1967.

19 .— Section 28 of the Act of 1967 is amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (3):

“(3) (a) An applicant for bail or the prosecutor may appeal to the High Court if dissatisfied with a refusal or grant of the application for bail or, where bail is granted, with any matter relating to the bail.

(b) Where the applicant has been remanded in custody by the District Court and the offence with which the applicant is charged is triable by the Circuit Court, the High Court may transfer the appeal to the judge of the Circuit Court for the circuit in which the prison or place of detention to which the applicant has been remanded is situated.

(c) The judge of the Circuit Court referred to in paragraph (b) shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of the appeal.

(d) An appeal against a decision by the Circuit Court under this section lies to the High Court at the instance of the applicant or prosecutor.”.

Amendment of section 31 of Act of 1967.

20 .— Section 31 of the Act of 1967 is amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (3):

“(3) If the recognisance is conditioned for the payment of a sum of money, that sum may be accepted in lieu of a surety or sureties.”.

Amendment of section 68 of Children Act 2001.

21 .— Section 68 of the Children Act 2001 is amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (4):

“(4) If the recognisance is conditioned for the payment of a sum of money, that sum may be accepted in lieu of a surety or sureties.”.

Amendment of section 11 of Act of 1984.

22 .— Section 11 of the Act of 1984 is amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (1):

“(1) Any sentence of imprisonment passed on a person for an offence—

(a) committed while on bail, whether committed before or after the commencement of section 22 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007, or

(b) committed after such commencement while the person is unlawfully at large after the issue of a warrant for his or her arrest for non-compliance with a condition of the recognisance concerned,

shall be consecutive on any sentence passed on him or her for a previous offence or, if he or she is sentenced in respect of two or more previous offences, on the sentence last due to expire, so however that, where two or more consecutive sentences as required by this section are passed by the District Court, the aggregate term of imprisonment in respect of those consecutive sentences shall not exceed 2 years.”.

Amendment of section 13 of Act of 1984.

23 .— Section 13 of the Act of 1984 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1), by the substitution of “€5,000” for “£1,000”, and

(b) by the addition of the following subsection:

“(6) Notwithstanding section 10(4) of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851, summary proceedings for an offence under this section may be instituted within 12 months from the date on which the offence was committed.”.