This is a translation of the

Loi (1908) au Sujet des Témoins et Informateurs

(Chapter 07.910)

as in force on 1 January 2019

 

This is not an authoritative translation of the Law. Whilst it is believed to be correct, no warranty is given that it is free of errors or omissions or that it is an accurate translation of the French text. Accordingly, no liability is accepted for any loss arising from its use.

 

LAW (1908) ON THE SUBJECT OF WITNESSES AND INFORMANTS

 

A LAW          on Procedure in Civil, Criminal and Mixed Cases (Witnesses and Informants)


WHEREAS it is in the interests of Justice that the most complete information in all cases, whether civil, criminal or mixed, be at the disposal of the persons called upon to adjudicate thereon –

Article    1

In civil or mixed cases, the parties themselves, and their relatives, without exception, shall be competent witnesses.

Provided however that a spouse shall not be compelled to disclose any communication made to him or her by the other spouse.

Provided however that a civil partner shall not be compelled to disclose any communication made to him or her by the other civil partner.

Article    2

(1)      Subject to the provisions of this Article, in any proceedings, the blood relatives or relatives either by marriage or by the formation of a civil partnership of a person accused or prosecuted shall be competent and compellable to be heard as witnesses either for the prosecution or for the defence.

(2)      The accused himself shall be competent to give evidence for the defence:

Provided that -

(a)      an accused shall not be called as a witness except upon his own application;

(b)      an accused called as a witness may be questioned notwithstanding that the answers to the questions posed might tend to incriminate him as to the offence charged;

(c)      an accused called as a witness shall not be required to answer a question tending to show that he has committed or been charged with, or that he has been convicted of, an offence other than that with which he is then charged, or that he is of bad character, unless –

(i)       evidence that he has committed or been convicted of such other offence is admissible to show that he is guilty of the offence wherewith he is then charged; or

(ii)      he has personally or through 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 defence is of such nature as to involve imputations on the character of the complainant or the witnesses for the prosecution; or

(iii)     he has given evidence against another person charged in the same proceedings.

(3)      In any proceedings, the wife or husband of the accused or the civil partner of the accused shall be competent –

(a)      subject to the provisions of paragraph (6) of this Article, to give evidence for the prosecution; and

(b)      to give evidence for the defence, or on behalf of any other person charged in the same proceedings.

(4)      In any proceedings, the wife or husband of the accused or the civil partner of the accused shall, subject to the provisions of paragraph (6) of this Article, be compellable to give evidence for the defence.

(5)      In any proceedings, the wife or husband of the accused or the civil partner of the accused shall, subject to the provisions of paragraph (6) of this Article, be compellable to give evidence for the prosecution or on behalf of any other person charged in the same proceedings on condition that the charge involves –

(a)      an assault on, or an injury done to, or threat of the same made towards, either –

(i)       the wife or husband of the accused or the civil partner of the accused; or

(ii)      a person aged at the material time under eighteen years;

(c)      an offence of a sexual nature against a person who was at the material time under that age;

(d)      an attempt or a conspiracy to commit, or encouraging, assisting, inciting, counselling or procuring an offence referred to in sub-paragraph (a) or sub‑paragraph (b) of this paragraph.

(6)      Where the spouses, or the two partners in a civil partnership, are jointly charged with an offence, neither of the spouses or civil partners (as the case may be) shall at the trial be competent or compellable by virtue of sub-paragraph (3)(a) or paragraph (4) or (5) of this Article to give evidence in respect of that charge unless that spouse or that civil partner (as the case may be) is not, or is no longer, liable to be convicted of the said offence at the trial as a result of pleading guilty or for any other reason.

(7)      In any proceedings, a person who has been but who is no longer married to the accused, or who has been but is no longer the civil partner of the accused, shall be competent and compellable to give evidence as if that person and the accused had never been married, or had never been in a civil partnership.

(8)      Where in any proceedings the age of a person at any time is material for the purposes of paragraph (5) of this Article, his age at the material time shall be deemed for the purposes of the said paragraph to be the age which the court believes he was at that time.

(9)      For the purposes of sub-paragraph (5)(b) of this Article, an offence of a sexual nature includes any indecent assault or act offending against public decency whether the offence be customary or statutory and, for the avoidance of doubt, includes any offence under the Protection of Children (Jersey) Law 1994, as amended.

(10)    The failure of the accused or of the wife or husband of the accused or of the civil partner of the accused to give evidence shall not be made the subject of any adverse comment by the prosecution.

Article   3

Any person convicted of any offence, whether the sentence has been undergone or not, shall be a competent witness (or informant) before all Courts and in all proceedings, civil, criminal or mixed.

Article      4

No witness shall be challenged on the ground of interest or animosity in any case, civil, criminal or mixed. He may, however, be questioned as to the interest he may have in the result or as to the animosity alleged to exist between him and one or more of the parties.

Article      5

The provisions of the preceding Articles apply to all evidence taken, orally or in writing, before all Courts and in all proceedings civil, criminal or mixed required by the Laws and Customs of the Island.

Article     6

After a civil case has been sent to proof, one or more of the parties in the case may, on application to the Inferior Number of the Court, obtain an Act authorising one or more persons to take the evidence on oath of one or more witnesses beyond the jurisdiction of the Royal Court. The Court shall give such directions as may be deemed just and reasonable, as to the manner in which the Act is to be put into execution, and as to the convening of the parties in the case.

A deposition taken beyond the jurisdiction of the Royal Court shall be under the signature of the person or persons authorised by the Court to take such evidence in virtue of the present Article; and it shall be deposited in the hands of the Greffier of the Royal Court in the period fixed by the Court. Such depositions shall be admitted as evidence in the case, in reference to which the Court granted the authorisation.

Article      7

The provisions of this Law which apply to civil cases shall apply to actions of “Clameur de Haro”. Any other cause en ajonction and all proceedings for the protection of the revenues of the Impôts shall be deemed to be criminal cases for the purposes of the present Law.

Article      8

The present Law shall apply to all civil cases commenced and all criminal prosecutions whether for a crime, délit or contravention.


Page Last Updated: 08 Apr 2021