NORTHERN IRELAND

COURT BUSINESS

 

 

 

 

 

         

In this issue 15 November 2011                                          No. 22/11

           

 

 

 

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE’S DIRECTIONS

 

 

Distribution of Crown Court Business and Places of Sitting of the Crown Court

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issued by the Lord Chief Justice’s Office

 

 

 

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE’S DIRECTION GIVEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 47(2) AND (3) OF THE JUDICATURE (NORTHERN IRELAND) ACT 1978

 

22/11

 

DISTRIBUTION OF CROWN COURT BUSINESS AND PLACES OF SITTING OF THE CROWN COURT

 

COMMENCEMENT

 

  1. This direction shall come into operation on 15 November 2011.

 

COMMITTALS FOR TRIAL

 

  1. Subject to section 4(1) of the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 and without prejudice to the provisions of section 48(1) (a) and (b) of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978, a magistrates’ court shall commit a person for trial to the next sitting of the Crown Court at a place within the county court division in which that magistrates’ court is sitting.

 

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCES

 

  1. For the purposes of trial in the Crown Court, offences are to be classified as follows:-

 

Class 1: The following offences are to be tried by a judge of the High Court –

 

(1)    Treason, misprision of treason and any other offence under the Treason Felony Act 1848

(2)    Genocide

(3)    Piracy

(4)    Corrupt practices within the meaning of the Representation of the People Act 1949 or the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962

(5)    An offence under the Official Secrets Acts 1911 to 1989

(6)    An offence under the Geneva Convention Act 1957, Section 1

(7)    An Offence under the Biological Weapons Act 1974, section 1

(8)    Sedition

(9)    Mutiny

(10)            Aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of any of the above offences.

 

Class 2: The following offences are to be tried by a judge of the High Court, or by a County Court Judge listed in Schedule 1 to these directions:

 

Murder

 

Class 3: The following offences are to be tried by a judge of the High Court, unless in a particular case the Lord Chief Justice directs the offences to be tried by a County Court judge-

               

                Attempting, inciting or conspiring to commit any of the offences in Class 1 or Class 2.

 

Class 4: The following offence is to be tried by a County Court Judge included in Schedule 2 to these directions or, subject to any special directions by the Lord Chief Justice in a particular case, by a judge of the High Court –

 

Rape

 

Class 5: All other offences which, subject to any special directions by the Lord Chief Justice in a particular case, may be tired by any judge of the Crown Court.  

 

REVOCATION

 

  1. The direction issued by the Lord Chief Justice on 16 February 2011 on the sitting of Crown Court business, issue number 02/11 is hereby revoked.

 

 

The Right Honourable Sir Declan Morgan

Lord Chief Justice

15 November 2011

 

 

 

 

SCHEDULE 1

 

County Court Judges eligible to try murder cases

 

His Honour Judge McFarland

His Honour Judge Finnegan QC

 

 

SCHEDULE 2

 

County Court Judges eligible to try rape cases

 

His Honour Judge Smyth QC

His Honour Judge Burgess, Recorder of Belfast

His Honour Judge Rodgers

Her Honour Judge Philpott QC

His Honour Judge McFarland

Her Honour Judge Kennedy

His Honour Judge Finnegan QC

His Honour Judge Marrinan

His Honour Judge Lynch QC

Her Honour Judge Loughran

Her Honour Judge McReynolds

His Honour Judge Babington

His Honour Judge Grant, Recorder of Londonderry

His Honour Judge Miller QC

Her Honour Judge Smyth

His Honour Judge Fowler QC

His Honour Judge Devlin