Northern Ireland law
Northern Irish law or Northern Ireland law refers to the legal system of statute and common law operating in Northern Ireland since the partition of Ireland established Northern Ireland as a separate jurisdiction within the United Kingdom in 1921.
- 1 Background
- 2 Legislation
- 3 Legal publications
4 Criminal law
4.1 Criminal offences
- 4.1.1 Offences against the person
- 4.1.2 Offences against property
- 4.1.3 Firearms and offensive weapons
- 4.1.4 Forgery, personation and cheating
- 4.1.5 Offences against the State or Crown or Government and political offences
- 4.1.6 Harmful or dangerous drugs
- 4.1.7 Offences against religion and public worship
- 4.1.8 Offences against the administration of public justice
- 4.1.9 Public order offences
- 4.1.10 Offences against public morals and public policy
- 4.1.11 Protection of children and vulnerable adults
- 4.1.12 Protection of animals and the environment
- 4.1.13 Road traffic and motor vehicle offences
- 4.1.14 Participatory offences
- 4.2 Defences to crime
- 4.1 Criminal offences
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Northern Ireland is a common law jurisdiction. Although its common law is similar to that in England and Wales, and partially derives from the same sources, there are some important differences in law and procedure between Northern Ireland and England and Wales.
The current statute law of Northern Ireland comprises those Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that apply to Northern Ireland and Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly, as well as statutory instruments made by departments of the Northern Ireland Executive and the UK Government. Also remaining on the statute books are many Acts of the Parliament of Northern Ireland passed between 1921 and 1972, certain Acts of the Parliament of Ireland made before the Act of Union 1800, and Acts of the Parliament of England, and of the Parliament of Great Britain, extended to Ireland under Poynings' Law between 1494 and 1782.
The expression "Northern Ireland legislation" is defined by statute.
In 1979, there was a severe shortage of textbooks and of works of authority, such as annotated statutes, law reports and rules of court, because the potential readership of any legal work, no matter how general, was so small that publication was not commercially viable. The only periodical dealing with the law of Northern Ireland was the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.
Offences against the person
As to the mens rea for murder, see section 8 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966.
The following partial defences reduce murder to manslaughter:
See also section 6 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966. The common law defence of provocation was abolished and section 7 of that Act repealed by section 56 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
The Infanticide Act (Northern Ireland) 1939 provides a partial defence which reduces murder to infanticide.
The penalty for murder is provided by section 1(1) of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973.
Non-fatal non-sexual offences
Offences against property
Firearms and offensive weapons
Forgery, personation and cheating
- Offences under Part I of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981
Offences against the State or Crown or Government and political offences
- High treason
- Misprision of treason
- Compounding treason
- Treason felony
- Attempting to injure or alarm the Sovereign, contrary to section 2 of the Treason Act 1842
- Offences under the Official Secrets Acts 1911 to 1989
- Offences under the Incitement to Disaffection Act 1934
- Causing disaffection, contrary to section 68 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998
- Incitement to sedition or disaffection or promoting industrial unrest, contrary to section 3 of the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919
- Offences relating to terrorism
- Offences under section 1 of the Unlawful Drilling Act 1819
- Piracy iure gentium
- Piracy with violence, contrary to the Piracy Act 1837
- Offences under the Slave Trade Act 1824
- Offences under the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870
- Offences under the Immigration Act 1971
- Coinage offences under Part II of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981
- Offences relating to public stores under the Public Stores Act 1875
- Offences against postal and electronic communication services
- Misconduct in public office
- Refusal to execute public office
- Offences of selling public offices under the Sale of Offices Act 1551 and Sale of Offices Act 1809 (see section 1 thereof)
- Cheating the public revenue
- Offences under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979
- Tax evasion and money laundering offences
Harmful or dangerous drugs
Offences against religion and public worship
Offences against the administration of public justice
Public order offences
Offences against public morals and public policy
Protection of children and vulnerable adults
Protection of animals and the environment
Road traffic and motor vehicle offences
Participatory offences include aiding, abetting, counselling, or procuring the act of some crime or conspiracy. It also includes being an accomplice to criminal behaviour.
Defences to crime
- Northern Ireland Assembly (1973–1974) (legislative power in 1974 only)
- Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service
- Attorney General for Northern Ireland
- Advocate General for Northern Ireland
- Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland
- Police Service of Northern Ireland
- List of statutory rules of Northern Ireland
- The Report of the Royal Commission on Legal Services. Cmnd 7648. October 1979. Volume I. Paragraph 42.66 to at page 704. Google Books.
- The Report of the Royal Commission on Legal Services. Cmnd 7648. October 1979. Volume I. Paragraph 42.67 to at page 704.
- Northern Ireland Law Reports. LexisWeb.
- Queen's University Belfast.
- Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations.
- Archbold Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice lists child destruction as an offence against the person
- The Coroners and Justice Act 2009, sections 54 and 55
- The Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966, section 5 (as amended by section 53 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009)
- The Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966, section 14
- Again this is the label adopted by Archbold
- Britain's Legal Systems, Central Office of Information, 1997, ISBN 0-11-701713-2
- Criminal Justice Systems in Europe, Bo Svensson, 1995, ISBN 91-38-30482-1
- Law and State: The Case of Northern Ireland, Kevin Boyle, Tom Hadden and Paddy Hillyard, 1975
- The Legal System of Northern Ireland, Brice Dickson, (5th edition) 2005, Belfast: SLS Legal Publications, ISBN 0-85389-884-7
- Digest of Northern Ireland Law. Second Edition. SLS. Belfast. 1995 onwards.
- Desmond Greer and Frederick Boyd. "Northern Ireland". In Twining and Uglow. Law Publishing and Legal Information. 1981. pp 83 – 116.
- Company law of Northern Ireland: Report of the Committee, under the Chairmanship of Donald Murray QC. Snippet view.
- Legal Aid: Final Report of the Law Society of Northern Ireland for the Period 1 April 2003 to 31 October 2003. Preview.
- Comerton. A Handbook on the Magistrates' Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 1964. Snippet view.
- Calvert. Constitutional Law in Northern Ireland: A Study in Regional Government. Snippet view.
- The judicial system in Northern Ireland, by Directgov
- PDF – Northern Ireland law – Law Library Guide, Queen's University, Belfast
- British and Irish Legal Information Institute
- Law Centre (NI)
- Library Guide. Queen's University Belfast.