An Act to amend the Law of Evidence in its application to Northern Ireland.
[10th May 1923]
Competency of witnesses in criminal cases.
F1F2Every person charged with an offence, F3... shall be a competent witness for the defence at every stage of the proceedings, whether the person so charged is charged solely or jointly with any other person:
A person charged F5and called as a witness in pursuance of this Act shall not be asked, and if asked shall not be required to answer, any question tending to show that he has committed or been convicted of or been charged with any offence other than F5that wherewith he is then charged, or is of bad character, unless —
(i) the proof that he has committed or been convicted of such other offence is admissible evidence to show that he is guilty of F5the offence wherewith he is then charged;
(ii) he has personally or by his advocate asked questions of the witnesses for the prosecution with a view to establish his own good character, or has given evidence of his good character, or the nature or conduct of the defence is such as to involve imputations on the character of the prosecutor or the witnesses for the prosecution [ F9or the deceased victim of the alleged crime ] ; or
(iii) he has given evidence against any other person charged [ F10in the same proceedings]:
Every person F5called as a witness in pursuance of this Act shall, unless otherwise ordered by the court, give his evidence from the witness box or other place from which the other witnesses give their evidence:
Proviso (h) rep. by 1989 NI 12
Evidence of person charged.
Where the only witness to the facts of the case called by the defence is a person charged, he shall be called as a witness immediately after the close of the evidence for the prosecution.
Right of reply.
In cases where the right of reply depends upon the question whether evidence has been called for the defence, the fact that the person charged has been called as a witness shall not of itself confer on the prosecution the right of reply.
S. 4 rep. by 1989 NI 12
Application of Act.
— (1) This Act shall apply to all criminal proceedings, F11... .
Subs. (2) rep. by SLR (NI) 1952; subs. (3) rep. by 1954 c. 33 (NI); subs. (4) rep. by SLR (NI) 1952
This Act may be cited as the Criminal Evidence Act (Northern Ireland), 1923.