33 1929

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Number 33 of 1929.


JURIES (PROTECTION) ACT, 1929.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Interpretation and construction.

2.

Power to transfer certain functions of under-sheriffs.

3.

Secrecy of jury panel in criminal cases.

4.

Exclusion of public during calling of panel.

5.

Verdicts by nine members of jury.

6.

Standing mute or refusing to recognise the Court.

7.

Clearing of the Court during certain criminal trials.

8.

Adjournment of trials on account of intimidation of jurors or witnesses.

9.

Prohibition of publication of names of jurors.

10.

Service of jurors' summonses by post.

11.

Penalties for intimidation of jurors.

12.

Penalties for loitering in vicinity of criminal courts.

13.

Short title, citation and duration.


Acts Referred to

Juries Act, 1927

No. 23 of 1927

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Number 33 of 1929.


JURIES (PROTECTION) ACT, 1929.


AN ACT TO MAKE FURTHER AND BETTER PROVISION FOR THE PROTECTION OF JURORS AND WITNESSES CONCERNED IN THE TRIAL OF CRIMINAL ISSUES AND FOR THAT PURPOSE TO AMEND THE JURIES ACT, 1927 , AND THE LAW RELATING TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND TO AUTHORISE MAJORITY VERDICTS IN CRIMINAL CASES. [1st August, 1929.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORSTÁT EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

Interpretation and construction.

1. —(1) In this Act the expression “the Principal Act” means the Juries Act, 1927 (No. 23 of 1927).

(2) This Act shall be read and construed as one with Part V of the Principal Act and accordingly all words and expressions occurring in this Act to which a particular meaning or interpretation is given in the Principal Act, either generally or for the purposes of Part V of that Act, shall in this Act respectively have the meaning or interpretation so given to them in the Principal Act.

Power to transfer certain functions of under sheriffs.

2. —(1) In every county and county borough to which this section is applied by an order made under this section the powers and duties conferred or imposed on the under-sheriff of such county or county borough by Part V of the Principal Act, whether as empanelling officer, summoning officer, or otherwise, shall as from the date of such order become and be transferred to and conferred or imposed on the several and respective officers on whom such powers and duties would respectively be conferred or imposed by the said Part V of the Principal Act if the office of such under-sheriff were vacant, and accordingly the said Part V of the Principal Act and in particular the expressions “the empanelling officer” and “the summoning officer” where they respectively occur therein shall as on and from the date of any such order be construed and have effect in respect of the county or county borough to which such order relates as if the office of under-sheriff in such county or county borough had first become vacant within the meaning of the said Part V of the Principal Act on the date of such order.

(2) The Minister for Justice may, whenever he thinks fit, by order made under this section, apply this section to any county or county borough in which the office of under-sheriff exists and is not vacant at the date of such order.

Secrecy of jury panel in criminal cases.

3. —(1) Section 50 of the Principal Act shall not apply to a panel of jurors prepared for a sittings of the Central Criminal Court nor to a panel of jurors prepared for a sittings of a Judge of the Circuit Court for the trial of criminal issues, and in lieu thereof it is hereby enacted that the empanelling officer and the summoning officer shall treat every such panel as a confidential official document.

(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other enactment, no accused person shall be entitled as of right to a copy of the panel of jurors from which it is intended that the jury for his trial is to be drawn.

Exclusion of public during calling of panel.

4. —Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the Principal Act, the following provisions shall apply to and have effect at every sittings of the Central Criminal Court and every sittings of a Judge of the Circuit Court for the trial of criminal issues, that is to say:—

(a) On every day of such sittings on which the registrar of the Court is required by the Principal Act to call over a panel (whether original or supplemental) of jurors under section 46 or under section 47 of the Principal Act, such registrar shall attend in the Court for one half-hour immediately before the hour appointed for the commencement of the sitting of the Court on that day and it shall be lawful for every person who is required by law to attend the Court on that day as a juror to attend before such registrar during the said half-hour and request such registrar to record his attendance and upon such request being so made to him such registrar shall record in such manner as he thinks fit such attendance of such person;

(b) When calling over in pursuance of section 46 or sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 47 of the Principal Act the names of the jurors entered on a panel (whether original or supplemental) of jurors, the registrar shall not call the name of any such juror whose attendance he has previously recorded under the foregoing paragraph of this section on that day unless he has reason to believe that such juror has since his attendance was so recorded left the Court and not returned thereto, and whenever the registrar refrains under this paragraph from calling the name of a juror he shall take such steps in relation to such juror as he would be required by the Principal Act to take if the name of such juror had been called and such juror had answered thereto;

(c) No person shall be admitted to or be present in the Court while the proceedings directed by section 46 of the Principal Act or the proceedings directed by sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 47 of that Act or the proceedings directed by paragraph (a) of this section are being had (whether in relation to an original or to a supplemental panel) save only the Judge presiding at the sittings, the officers of the Court, members of the Gárda Síochána on duty in the Court, and persons who have been summoned to attend the Court as jurors at such sittings, but nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as requiring the presence of the Judge while the proceedings directed by paragraph (a) of this section are being had;

(d) Save while the proceedings directed by section 46 of the Principal Act or the proceedings directed by sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 47 of that Act or the proceedings directed by paragraph (a) of this section are being had, every person attending the Court as a juror shall (whether he has or has not been sworn as a juror) be called, addressed, and referred to for all purposes in the Court solely by the number by which he is distinguished on the panel of jurors from which he is drawn and no such person shall be called, addressed, or referred to in the Court by his name nor shall the address or description of any such person be called or mentioned in the Court.

Verdicts by nine members of jury.

5. —(1) In every trial before a Judge and jury of a person charged with any crime or offence, a majority vote of nine members of the jury shall be sufficient to determine the verdict and the Judge shall so inform the jury and the verdict of such nine members or upwards shall be taken and recorded as the verdict of the jury without disclosure of the number (save as hereinafter mentioned) or identity of the dissentients, if any.

(2) Whenever a jury finds a person to be guilty of a crime for which the penalty provided by law is death, the Judge shall inquire of the foreman of the jury, and the foreman of the jury shall notify to the Judge privately in writing, whether the verdict was or was not unanimous and the number of the dissentients (if any), and the judge shall report to the Minister for Justice the information so obtained.

Standing mute or refusing to recognise the Court.

6. —(1) Whenever a person charged in the Central Criminal Court or in the Circuit Court with any crime or offence stands mute when called upon to plead to such charge, no jury shall be sworn for the trial of the issue whether such person so stands mute of malice or by the visitation of God, but in lieu thereof the Judge shall himself hear such evidence (if any) relevant to that issue as may then and there be adduced before him and, if the Judge is satisfied on such evidence that such person is mute by the visitation of God, all such consequences shall ensue as would have ensued if a jury sworn for the purpose had found that such person was so mute by the visitation of God, but if the Judge is not satisfied as aforesaid or if no such evidence is so adduced the Judge shall direct a plea of “not guilty” to be entered for such person.

(2) Whenever a person charged in the Central Criminal Court or in the Circuit Court with any crime or offence fails or refuses in any way, other than standing mute, to plead to such charge when called upon so to do, the Judge shall (without prejudice to his powers under the next following sub-section of this section) direct a plea of “not guilty” to be entered for such person.

(3) Whenever a person, charged in the Central Criminal Court or in the Circuit Court with any crime or offence, at any stage of his trial in such Court on such charge by any act or omission displays gross disrespect of the Court or refuses to recognise the Court or refuses to recognise the authority or jurisdiction of the Court or does any act (other than standing mute or lawfully objecting in due form of law to the jurisdiction of the Court to try him on such charge) which in the opinion of the Judge is equivalent to a refusal to recognise the Court or the authority or jurisdiction thereof, or in any other way acts disrespectfully or contumaciously towards the Court, such person shall be guilty of an offence against the Court and the Judge may forthwith sentence him to suffer a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months.

(4) When a person is sentenced under the foregoing sub-section of this section to suffer a term of imprisonment, the Judge shall at his discretion either—

(a) direct that such person shall suffer such imprisonment forthwith, in which case such person shall thereupon be removed in custody and imprisoned in accordance with such sentence, and the trial of such person on the charge on which he was being tried when he was so sentenced shall stand adjourned to the sittings of such Court or, in the case of the Circuit Court, to the sittings of such Court for the trial of criminal issues in that county or county borough, next after his release from such imprisonment, and upon such release he shall be detained in custody as if he had been returned for trial at the sittings to which his trial so stands adjourned, or

(b) proceed with the trial of such person, in which case such person shall suffer imprisonment in accordance with such sentence as from the conclusion of and in addition to such other punishment (if any) as he may have been sentenced to at such trial or, where for any reason he was not sentenced to any such other punishment at such trial, as from the conclusion of such trial but where no verdict was found at such trial such sentence shall not prevent such person after he has suffered such imprisonment being again tried on the charge in respect of which such failure to find a verdict occurred.

Clearing of the Court during certain criminal trials.

7. —(1) Whenever, at the trial of an accused person in the Central Criminal Court or in the Circuit Court and after such accused person has pleaded “not guilty” or a plea of “not guilty” has been entered for him and before any further proceedings are had, an officer of the Gárda Síochána not below the rank of superintendent states on oath to the Judge presiding at such trial that in the opinion of such officer it is necessary for the protection of the witnesses and jurors concerned in such trial that the public should be excluded from the Court during such trial, the Judge may order the Court to be cleared and in that case shall not proceed with such trial until the Court has been cleared in accordance with this section.

(2) When a Court has been cleared under this section at the trial of an accused person the Court shall be kept so cleared during such trial until the verdict of the jury has been recorded or the jury have failed to agree and have been discharged.

(3) For the purposes of this section references to the clearing of the Court shall be construed as meaning the exclusion from the Court of all persons whatsoever except the Judge presiding at the trial then in progress, the officers of the Court, the jurors sworn for such trial, the accused person and any member of the Gárda Síochána or prison warder in charge of him, the counsel and solicitors engaged in such trial, members of the Gárda Síochána on duty in the Court, other officers of the State present in their official capacity, the witness (if any) who is for the time being giving evidence, barristers bona fide practising as such in Saorstát Eireann and, subject to the provisions of the three next following sub-sections of this section, representatives of the press.

(4) In this section the expression “representative of the press” means a person who is regularly engaged or employed in journalism and is duly accredited by the editor of a bona fide newspaper published not less often than once a week or by the manager of a bona fide news agency or press association as a representative of such newspaper or a reporter of legal proceedings for such newspaper, news agency, or press association.

(5) Whenever immediately after the clearing of a Court under this section an officer of the Gárda Síochána not below the rank of superintendent produces to the Judge presiding in such Court one or more then recent issue or issues of a particular newspaper or a document or documents appearing and purporting to be such issue or issues and the Judge is of opinion that any articles or other matter contained in such issue or document or any of such issues or documents is calculated to intimidate jurors or witnesses either generally or in the particular trial then in progress or to prevent or discourage such jurors from performing their duty according to their oath without fear or favour or to prevent or discourage such witnesses from giving their evidence freely, fully, and truthfully, the Judge shall forthwith order that all persons claiming to be representatives of or reporters for such newspaper be excluded from the Court so long as such Court continues to be cleared under this section, and thereupon while such Court continues to be so cleared no person shall be admitted to or be present in such Court on the ground that he is a representative of or a reporter for such newspaper.

(6) Whenever at any time while a Court is cleared under this section an officer of the Gárda Síochána not below the rank of superintendent states on oath to the Judge presiding in such Court, that a particular person then claiming the right to be admitted to or to remain in such Court as a representative of the press is known to be or is suspected of being concerned or associated in acts of intimidation of jurors or witnesses or acts of a treasonable or seditious character or is known generally to associate with persons concerned or suspected of being concerned in any such acts the Judge shall forthwith order such person to be excluded from such Court while it remains so cleared and thereupon such person shall be excluded from such Court accordingly.

(7) Nothing in this section shall be construed to take away or derogate from any power or duty vested in or imposed on a Judge by statute or otherwise to clear his Court or to exclude any persons or person therefrom, and the powers and duties conferred or imposed by this section shall be in addition to and not in substitution for such first-mentioned powers and duties.

Adjournment of trials on account of intimidation of jurors or witnesses.

8. —(1) Whenever and as often (but not more than twice in respect of any one trial) as a Judge presiding in the Central Criminal Court or a Judge of the Circuit Court sitting for the trial of criminal issues is satisfied that, by reason of intimidation or attempted intimidation of jurors or witnesses either in relation to the trial of criminal issues generally or of any class of criminal issues or in relation to the trial of a particular person or the intimidation or attempted intimidation of particular jurors or witnesses it is not desirable that the trial or trials of one or more accused persons awaiting trial before him should be had at the sittings of the Central Criminal Court or the Circuit Court (as the case may be) then in progress, such Judge may adjourn the trial or trials of such accused person or persons until the next following sittings of such Court or, in the case of the Circuit Court, to the next following sittings of such Court for the trial of criminal issues in that county or county borough.

(2) Whenever the trial of an accused person is adjourned under this section such accused person shall for all purposes be deemed to have been returned for trial at the sittings to which his trial is so adjourned and may accordingly, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any statute in force in Saorstát Eireann, be detained in custody as if he had been returned for trial at such sittings.

(3) The power of adjourning a trial conferred by this section shall be in addition to and not in substitution for any other power of adjournment for the time being existing by law and one or two adjournments of a trial under this section shall not prevent a subsequent adjournment of such trial under any such other power of adjournment nor shall one or more adjournments of a trial under any of such last-mentioned powers prevent a subsequent adjournment of such trial under this section.

Prohibition of publication of names of jurors.

9. —(1) It shall not be lawful for any person to print, publish, distribute, sell, or offer or expose for sale or to post up or otherwise expose in any public place the statement in writing or to make by word of mouth the statement in regard to any other person (whether such statement is true or is false) that such other person was called, sworn, or engaged as a juror in the trial of any particular criminal issue or any class of criminal issues or was empanelled or summoned or attended as a juror for any sittings of any Court for the trial of criminal issues.

(2) If any person prints, publishes, distributes, sells, or offers or exposes for sale or posts up or otherwise exposes in any public place or makes by word of mouth any statement of any other person in contravention of this section such first-mentioned person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(3) Nothing in this section shall apply to or render unlawful the printing, publication, distribution, or making by any person in the manner and to the extent directed by the Principal Act as amended by this Act or otherwise by law of any statement which it is his duty under the Principal Act as so amended or otherwise by law so to print, publish, distribute, or make.

Service of jurors' summonses by post.

10. —(1) Section 44 of the Principal Act shall be construed and have effect as if the word “registered,” wherever that word occurs in the expression “registered post” in that section, were omitted therefrom.

(2) Every direction for the service by registered post of summonses for the attendance of jurors given by the Minister for Justice under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of section 44 of the Principal Act before the passing of this Act and not revoked shall as from the passing of this Act have effect as a direction under the said section 44 as amended by this Act for the service of such summonses by post.

Penalties for intimidation of jurors.

11. —Any person who—

(a) prints, publishes, distributes, sells, or offers or exposes for sale, or posts up or otherwise exposes in any public place, or imports into Saorstát Eireann any statement, notice, article or other matter in writing or any book, newspaper, magazine, journal, or other document containing any statement, notice, article or other matter urging, encouraging or exhorting or calculated to induce or persuade persons summoned or engaged as jurors for or in the trial of criminal issues or of any particular class of criminal issues or any particular criminal issue to refrain from acting as such jurors or to act as such jurors otherwise than in accordance with their oath and duty as such jurors, or

(b) prints, publishes, distributes, sells, or offers or exposes for sale, or posts up or otherwise exposes in any public place, or imports into Saorstát Eireann any statement, notice, article or other matter in writing or any book, newspaper, magazine, journal or other document containing any statement, notice, article or other matter containing or implying or which may reasonably be construed as containing or implying threats of violence against persons summoned or engaged as jurors in the trial of criminal issues or any particular class of criminal issues or any particular criminal issue who act as such jurors or who in the execution of their duty as such jurors act in accordance with their oath and duty as such jurors, or

(c) addresses, delivers, or makes to any person who is or is likely to be or may be engaged as a juror in the trial of criminal issues or any class of criminal issues or any particular criminal issue any notice, warning, or other statement, whether verbal or in writing, urging, encouraging, or exhorting or calculated to induce or persuade such last-mentioned person to refrain from acting as such juror or to act as such juror otherwise than in accordance with his oath and duty as such juror, or expressing, containing, or implying or which may reasonably be construed as expressing, containing, or implying threats of violence against such last-mentioned person in the event of his acting as such juror or of his acting in the execution of his duty as such juror in accordance with his oath and duty as such juror,

shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment, and also in any case to forfeiture of every copy in his possession of the document (if any) in respect of which he is so convicted and also, in the case of a person found guilty of the offence of printing any such document, to forfeiture of all printing machinery in his possession.

Penalties for loitering in vicinity of criminal courts.

12. —Every person who, on a day on which the Central Criminal Court or a Judge of the Circuit Court is sitting for the trial of criminal issues, loiters without lawful reason in any of the streets or roads leading to the building in which such Court or Judge is sitting or in any other of the approaches to such building or in any other public place in the neighbourhood of such building or in the district in which such building is situate shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding twenty-five pounds or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months.

Short title, citation and duration.

13. —(1) This Act may be cited as the Juries (Protection) Act, 1929.

(2) The Principal Act and this Act may be cited together as the Juries Acts, 1927 and 1929.

(3) This Act shall continue in force until the 30th day of September, 1931, and shall then expire.