Criminal Justice and Courts Bill (HC Bill 169)

(6) It is not an offence under paragraph 5D to solicit a disclosure
described in sub-paragraphs (1) to (5).

(7) It is not an offence under paragraph 5D to obtain information—

(a) 30by means of a disclosure described in sub-paragraphs (1)
to (5), or

(b) from a document that is available to the public or a section
of the public.

(8) In this paragraph—

  • 35“publish” means make available to the public or a section of
    the public;

  • “relevant investigator” means—

    (a)

    a police force;

    (b)

    the Attorney General;

    (c)

    40the Criminal Cases Review Commission;

    (d)

    the Crown Prosecution Service;

    (e)

    any other person or class of person specified by the
    Lord Chancellor for the purposes of this paragraph by
    regulations.

(9) 45The Lord Chancellor must obtain the consent of the Lord Chief
Justice before making regulations under this paragraph.

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Saving for contempt of court

7 In Part 3 of Schedule 6 to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (offences relating
to inquests: miscellaneous), at the end insert—

11 Nothing in paragraph 5A, 5B or 5C affects what constitutes
5contempt of court at common law.

Section 47

SCHEDULE 8 Members of the Court Martial

Part 1 Offences

1 10The Armed Forces Act 2006 is amended as follows.

2 In Chapter 2 of Part 7 (trial by Court Martial: proceedings), after section 163
insert—

163A Offences

Schedule 2A makes provision about offences relating to members of
15the Court Martial and their deliberations.

3 After Schedule 2 insert—

Section 163A

Schedule 2A Offences relating to members of the Court Martial

Interpretation

1 (1) In this Schedule, “lay member” means a member of the Court
20Martial other than a judge advocate.

(2) References in this Schedule to a member, or lay member, of the
Court Martial are to any member, or lay member, whether or not
the person is a person subject to service law or a civilian subject to
service discipline.

(3) 25In this Schedule, “the trial period”, in relation to a person specified
as a lay member of the Court Martial for proceedings, is the
period—

(a) beginning when the person is sworn to try the case, and

(b) ending when the proceedings terminate or, if earlier, when
30the lay member is discharged by the judge advocate.

Research by lay members

2 (1) It is an offence for a lay member of the Court Martial for
proceedings to research the case that is the subject of the
proceedings during the trial period, subject to the exceptions in
35sub-paragraphs (5) and (6).

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(2) A person researches a case if (and only if) the person—

(a) intentionally seeks information, and

(b) when doing so, knows or ought reasonably to know that
the information is or may be relevant to the case.

(3) 5The ways in which a person may seek information include—

(a) asking a question,

(b) searching an electronic database, including by means of
the internet,

(c) visiting or inspecting a place or object,

(d) 10conducting an experiment, and

(e) asking another person to seek the information.

(4) Information relevant to the case includes information about—

(a) a person involved in events relevant to the case,

(b) the judge advocate for the proceedings,

(c) 15any other person involved in the trial, whether as a lawyer,
a witness or otherwise,

(d) the law relating to the case,

(e) the law of evidence, and

(f) Court Martial procedure.

(5) 20It is not an offence under this paragraph for a person to seek
information if the person needs the information for a reason which
is not connected with the case.

(6) It is not an offence under this paragraph for a person—

(a) to attend the proceedings in question;

(b) 25to seek information from the judge advocate for the
proceedings;

(c) to seek information from the court administration officer
or from a member of the Military Court Service;

(d) to do anything which the Judge Advocate General directs
30or authorises the person to do;

(e) to do anything which the judge advocate dealing with the
issue directs or authorises the person to do;

(f) to seek information from another lay member of the Court
Martial for the proceedings, unless the person knows or
35ought reasonably to know that the other lay member
contravened this paragraph in the process of obtaining the
information;

(g) to do anything else which is reasonably necessary in order
for the Court Martial to make a finding on a charge or pass
40a sentence.

(7) A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable to any
punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, but a sentence
of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence must not
exceed two years.

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Sharing research with other lay members

3 (1) It is an offence for a lay member of the Court Martial for
proceedings intentionally to disclose information to another lay
member of that court for the proceedings during the trial period
5if—

(a) the lay member contravened paragraph 2 in the process of
obtaining the information, and

(b) the information has not been provided to the Court Martial
during the course of the proceedings.

(2) 10Information has been provided to the Court Martial during the
course of the proceedings if (and only if) it has been provided as
part of—

(a) evidence presented in the proceedings,

(b) information provided to a lay member or the lay members
15during the trial period by the court administration officer
or a member of the Military Court Service, or

(c) other information provided to a lay member or the lay
members during the trial period by, or with the permission
of, the judge advocate dealing with the issue.

(3) 20A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable to any
punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, but a sentence
of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence must not
exceed two years.

Engaging in other prohibited conduct

4 (1) 25It is an offence for a lay member of the Court Martial for
proceedings intentionally to engage in prohibited conduct during
the trial period, subject to the exceptions in sub-paragraphs (4)
and (5).

(2) “Prohibited conduct” means conduct from which it may
30reasonably be concluded that the person intends to make a finding
on a charge or a decision about a sentence otherwise than on the
basis of the evidence presented in the proceedings.

(3) An offence under this paragraph is committed whether or not the
person knows that the conduct is prohibited conduct.

(4) 35It is not an offence under this paragraph for a person to research
the case that is the subject of the proceedings (as defined in
paragraph 2(2) to (4)).

(5) It is not an offence under this paragraph for a person to disclose
information to another lay member of the Court Martial.

(6) 40A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable to any
punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, but a sentence
of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence must not
exceed two years.

Disclosing information about members’ deliberations etc

5 (1) 45It is an offence for a person intentionally—

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(a) to disclose information about statements made, opinions
expressed, arguments advanced or votes cast by members
of the Court Martial for proceedings in the course of their
deliberations, or

(b) 5to solicit or obtain such information,

subject to the exceptions in paragraphs 6 and 7.

(2) Where a person guilty of an offence under this paragraph—

(a) was a member of the Court Martial for the proceedings, or

(b) at the time the offence was committed, was a person
10subject to service law or a civilian subject to service
discipline,

the person is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in
section 164, but any sentence of imprisonment imposed in respect
of the offence must not exceed two years.

(3) 15Where any other person is guilty of an offence under this
paragraph—

(a) the person is liable, on conviction on indictment, to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine
(or both), and

(b) 20proceedings for the offence may not be instituted except by
or with the consent of the Attorney General.

(4) The Crown Court has jurisdiction to try an offence under this
paragraph committed in England and Wales other than by a
person described in sub-paragraph (2), including an offence
25committed in respect of deliberations of members of the Court
Martial sitting outside England and Wales.

Disclosing information about members’ deliberations etc: initial exceptions

6 (1) It is not an offence under paragraph 5 for a person to disclose
information in the proceedings mentioned in paragraph 5(1)

(a) 30for the purposes of enabling the Court Martial to make a
finding on a charge or pass a sentence, or

(b) in connection with the delivery of the findings or sentence.

(2) It is not an offence under paragraph 5 for the judge advocate for
those proceedings to disclose information—

(a) 35for the purposes of dealing with the proceedings, or

(b) for the purposes of an investigation by a relevant
investigator into whether an offence or contempt of court
has been committed by or in relation to a lay member in the
proceedings mentioned in paragraph 5(1).

(3) 40It is not an offence under paragraph 5 for a person who reasonably
believes that a disclosure described in sub-paragraph (2)(b) has
been made to disclose information for the purposes of the
investigation.

(4) It is not an offence under paragraph 5 to publish information
45disclosed as described in sub-paragraph (1) or (2)(a) in the
proceedings mentioned in paragraph 5(1).

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(5) It is not an offence under paragraph 5 to solicit a disclosure
described in sub-paragraphs (1) to (4).

(6) It is not an offence under paragraph 5 to obtain information—

(a) by means of a disclosure described in sub-paragraphs (1)
5to (4), or

(b) from a document that is available to the public or a section
of the public.

(7) In this paragraph—

  • “publish” means make available to the public or a section of
    10the public;

  • “relevant investigator” means—

    (a)

    a police force listed in section 375;

    (b)

    the Attorney General;

    (c)

    any other person or class of person specified by the
    15Lord Chancellor for the purposes of this paragraph by
    regulations.

(8) The Lord Chancellor must obtain the consent of the Lord Chief
Justice of England and Wales before making regulations under
this paragraph.

20Disclosing information about members’ deliberations etc: further exceptions

7 (1) It is not an offence under paragraph 5 for a judge of the Court of
Appeal, a judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court or the registrar
of criminal appeals to disclose information for the purposes of an
investigation by a relevant investigator into—

(a) 25whether an offence or contempt of court has been
committed by or in relation to a lay member in connection
with the proceedings mentioned in paragraph 5(1), or

(b) whether conduct of a lay member in connection with those
proceedings may provide grounds for an appeal against
30conviction or sentence.

(2) It is not an offence under paragraph 5 for a judge of the Court of
Appeal, a judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court or the registrar
of criminal appeals to disclose information to—

(a) a person who was the defendant in the proceedings
35mentioned in paragraph 5(1), or

(b) a legal representative of such a person,

for the purposes of considering whether conduct of a lay member
in connection with those proceedings may provide grounds for an
appeal against conviction or sentence.

(3) 40It is not an offence under paragraph 5 for a person to disclose
information for a purpose mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) or (2)
to—

(a) a judge of the Court of Appeal,

(b) a judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court,

(c) 45the registrar of criminal appeals,

(d) the judge advocate who dealt with the proceedings
mentioned in paragraph 5(1),