Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945

The Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945 (c. 15) is an Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland.

Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945
Long titleAn Act to amend the law with respect to the administration of criminal justice and for certain purposes connected therewith.
Citation1945 c. 15
Royal assent13 December 1945
Status: Current legislation
Text of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from

Section 25 of the Act creates the offence of child destruction, which states:

[A]ny person who, with intent to destroy the life of a child then capable of being born alive, by any wilful act causes a child to die before it has an existence independent of its mother, shall be guilty of felony, to wit, of child destruction...

This section provides a defence of acting in good faith to preserve the life of the mother. The offence supplemented the offence of abortion (under the Offences against the Person Act 1861), which deals with unborn children not capable of being born alive. The Offences against the Person Act 1861 was repealed for Northern Ireland in October 2019.[1]

Other provisions of the Act deal with miscellaneous criminal procedure, search warrants pertaining to brothels, marital coercion, and a prohibition on the taking of photographs in court.


  1. ^ "Northern Ireland abortion law changes: What do they mean?".