Court Rules of Ireland

Circuit Court Rules



[SI 94/10]

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 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 Sch 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

12. (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 €25.39 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.

3. (1) In this Order, ‘the Act of 2008’ means the Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act, 2008 (No 7 of 2008).

(2) An application to a Judge of the District Court to issue a letter of request under section 62(1), section 67(2), section 73(1) or section 77(1) of the Act of 2008 shall—

(a) where the application concerns proceedings already instituted against a person, be made, unless the Judge otherwise directs or permits, by notice of application in the Form 21.8, Schedule B, returnable to the date specified on the summons or the date on which the person charged is next scheduled to be before the District Court, and, unless the Judge otherwise directs or permits, the notice of application shall be lodged with the Clerk and a copy served on the prosecutor or the person charged, as the case may be, not later than two days before such date;

(b) in any other case, be made ex parte at any sitting of the court by notice of application in the Form 21.8, Schedule B.

(3) The Judge may, before making an order on such an application, require the applicant to produce, or lodge with the Clerk, for consideration by the Judge a completed draft of the form of letter of request containing the information required by the Act of 2008 to be included in such letter.

(4) Where an order is made under this rule, the order may include such further provisions as the Judge of the District Court considers necessary or appropriate to facilitate the taking of any evidence concerned.

[SI 94/10]

4. A certificate in accordance with section 58(1)(b) of the Act of 2008 shall be in the Form 21.9, Schedule B. Such certificate shall be issued by the Clerk on receipt of a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions, or an officer or solicitor of the Director duly authorised in that behalf, requesting such certificate.

[SI 94/10]

5. Every application for leave to issue and serve a document in accordance with section 80 of the Act of 2008 shall be made ex parte and be supported by oral evidence, and there shall be produced on such application a draft of the document proposed to be issued and served (which draft shall as to its contents be in compliance with section 80(4) of the Act of 2008) and any translation required under subsection (2) and (3) of section 80 of the Act of 2008. The application shall also be supported by evidence identifying the other state in which the person proposed to be served is believed to be, any information available to the applicant as to the whereabouts of the person intended to be served, and any other information necessary for enabling the court to exercise its discretion in accordance with section 80.

[SI 94/10]


1 Customs Consolidation Act, 1876 Ch 36 section 228