Order 21

Attendance Of Witnesses

The below amendment(s) have been made to this instrument which can be viewed by clicking on the link(s):

No21-S.I. No. 94 Of 2010: District Court (Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008) Rules 2010

Attendance of witness may be procured by summons

1. (1) Any party desiring the attendance of any person to give evidence or to produce any accounts, papers, documents or things to the Court, may apply for, and the Judge, Clerk or a Peace Commissioner may issue, a witness summons (Form 21.1 Schedule B) requiring the person to whom the summons is directed to comply with the requirements thereof at the time and place stated therein.

Court may order issue of summons

(2) In any case of difficulty as regards the issue of such summons, application may be made to the Court for the issue of the same, and on such application the Court may issue or direct the issue of the summons or otherwise deal with the matter in such manner as to it shall seem just.

Signing and service of summons

(3) Such summons shall be signed by the Judge, Clerk or Peace Commissioner issuing it, and with it there shall also be issued a copy for service upon each person to whom it is directed, and such copies shall be served at least three clear days before the date fixed for the hearing of the complaint.

Service effective in any part of State

(4) Such summons may be served in any part of the State and upon service being effected, the witness shall be as effectively bound thereby as if he or she resided within the area of jurisdiction for issuing summonses of the Judge, Clerk or Peace Commissioner who issued it.

Failure to attend or evading service—warrant may issue

(5) Where a person to whom such summons is directed fails to attend at the time and place appointed and no just excuse is offered for such failure, then upon proof in the manner provided by these Rules that such summons was duly served upon such person, or upon an information (Form 21.2 Schedule B) being made that such person is evading service and that he or she is able to give evidence in the case, the Judge before whom the complaint is to be heard may issue a warrant (Form 21.3 or Form 21.4, Schedule B) for his or her arrest.

Warrant may issue instead of summons

(6) Where a Judge is satisfied by Information (Form 21.5 Schedule B) made on oath and in writing that it is probable that a person who is able to give evidence in a case will not attend to give evidence without being compelled to do so, he or she may issue a warrant (Form 21.6 Schedule B) for the arrest of such person.

Procedure on arrest

(7) When arrested, any such person shall be brought forthwith before the said Judge, or before another Judge having jurisdiction in such Judge's district, and the Judge shall remand him or her either in custody or on bail, until the hearing of the said complaint; and if remanded on bail, it may be made a condition of the recognisance that he or she shall bring with him or her and produce at the time and place at which he or she is bound to attend all such accounts, papers, documents or things as aforesaid.


Refusal to give evidence

2. (1) Where a person attends as a witness, either in obedience to a summons or by virtue of a warrant or is present in Court and is required to give evidence, and refuses to be examined upon oath, or refuses to answer lawful questions then put to him or her, or refuses to produce any accounts, papers documents or things (without offering any just excuse for such refusal), the Judge may adjourn the proceedings to the same or any other Court in his or her district for any period not exceeding eight days, and may by warrant (Form 21.7 Schedule B) commit the said witness to prison until the time of such hearing. If such witness, upon being brought up upon such adjourned hearing, again refuses to be sworn, or to testify as aforesaid, or to produce such accounts, papers, documents or things as aforesaid, as the case may be, the Judge may again adjourn the proceedings and commit the witness in like manner, and so again from time to time until he or she consents to be sworn or to testify as aforesaid, or to produce such accounts, papers, documents or things, as the case may be, (provided that no such imprisonment shall in any case of summary or civil jurisdiction exceed one month in the whole). *In proceedings under the Customs Acts such witness shall, in addition, for every such refusal as aforesaid forfeit such sum not exceeding twenty pounds as the Judge shall think fit, and the Judge shall cause a record of any such fine to be made in the minute book or charge sheet as the case may be.
(2) Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Judge from sending any such case for trial, or otherwise disposing of the same in the meantime, according to any other evidence received.

*Customs Consolidation Act, 1876 [ch.36 s.228].