Published: 14:04, 14 November 2017 |
Updated: 14:09, 14 November 2017
Suspects in criminal cases could find themselves behind bars - for not revealing their nationality.
New rules introduced in courtrooms this week mean all defendants have to reveal not only their name, date of birth but also their nationality.
And a failure to comply could land defendants a six-month stretch inside.
Notices have been pinned to doors in Canterbury Crown Court, and defendants have been asked to comply.
It reads: “There has always been an obligation on the court to confirm certain information about a defendant’s identity, for example: name, address, date of birth etc.
“A change in the law..now requires that at a first hearing the court must also confirm a defendant’s nationality, including, where appropriate, dual nationality.”
The notice, printed by the HM Courts & Tribunals Service, then promises that the answers will have “absolutely no bearing upon the way in which your case is dealt with.”
The requirement, which carries either jail or a fine for non-compliance, is only applicable to defendants in criminal cases.
Magistrates have also been sent details of the new regulation introduced under section 162 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017.
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