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The operation by prosecutors of investigation powers within POCA are subject to guidance issued by the Attorney General and the Advocate General for Northern Ireland in a code of practice. The existing codes need updating due to certain provisions in the Serious Crime Act 2015 and the full extension of POCA powers to Northern Ireland.
POCA requires that a public consultation is carried out before a new or revised code of practice is introduced. The draft code must then be approved by Parliament before coming into force.
A public consultation took place from 13th July to 7th October 2015. A draft of the revised code of practice was laid before Parliament on 16th December 2015 and will come into force once it has been given approval. A copy of the draft code laid before Parliament is attached.