Published: 14:04, 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.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.