Magistrate Court bail applications (other than first remand bail applications) will now be dealt with in accordance with the procedures set out below. These provisions seek to balance the principle that defendants should have their bail applications heard at the earliest opportunity with the requirement that the police have sufficient time to obtain all relevant information.
1. The Defence complete a Bring Forward Application and email it to PSNI Court liaison officers, PPS and Court Service before noon on the day prior to the Bring Forward Application. All three must be copied into the email.
2. PSNI Court liaison officers will make relevant enquiries and inform the defence and PPS as to whether or not there are objections.
3. At the Bring Forward Application PPS will notify the Court of a suggested hearing date which will normally be the next working day. However, in some instances it will be appropriate for the District Judge to list the case for the next appropriate day on videolink, for example in cases where the Bring Forward Application was not emailed before noon on the date the email was sent, or the investigating police are officers attached to non uniform sections of police such as CID, PPU and MIT.
4. The PSNI officer in charge of the case, or a suitably briefed Officer should advise the PPS of his/her views or objections and should attend the hearing of the application.
Note. The Bring Forward procedure is not required where the defence notify the court and prosecution in open court on a date when the case is listed. In that case the court will adjourn (on the basis of the principles set out in paragraph 3) to enable police to make enquiries.
The Defence complete the Bail Variation Application Form and email it to PSNI Court liaison. PSNI Court liaison Officers will make relevant enquires.
Where there is no objection to variation
1. PSNI Court liaison serve the completed application on the Court before 4pm on the day prior to the application being made.
2. Court staff will place the application before the Judge in Chambers before 10.30hrs the following day for his/her consideration.
3. Court staff will result and confirm the Court result as soon as practical or by 16:00hrs following judicial approval, and notify the Applicant’s Solicitor, PSNI Court liaison and the PPS.
4. If a hearing is directed by the Judge, the parties will be notified by Court Service of the date, time and venue.
Where there is an objection to variation
1. PSNI Court liaison will notify Court Service, the defence and PPS of the objection.
2. The application will be listed by Court Service for hearing before the Court, and Court Service will notify PSNI Court liaison, PPS and the Defence of the date of listing.
3. The PSNI officer in charge of the case, or a suitably briefed Officer should advise the PPS of his/her objections and should attend the hearing of the application.
The defence complete and serve Form 96A on PPS, Police and Court Service. Police make relevant enquiries. In liaison with the defence and PPS, Court Service either lay the Application before the Judge in Chambers or list the application for hearing.
When an application is made out of hours, the defence will, in addition to the above, contact the Court Service using the out of hours telephone number. Tel 07795 311319
Note. In all the above applications, Forms must be completed fully and the Court folder number (found on the charge sheet) should be provided, if available.
PSNI Court liaison email. zBelfastCourtLiaison@psni.pnn.police.uk
PPS email. B&ECourtSupport@ppsni.gsi.gov.uk
Court Service email. email@example.com
PSNI Court liaison Officers (CPT). Tel 07815 410089 or 07500 895963.