Latest news about the Criminal Procedure Rules, the Criminal Practice Directions and the Rule Committee.
Sentencing Act 2020 changes
On 1 December 2020 the Sentencing Act 2020 replaces most other sentencing legislation. The Act is published at legislation.gov.uk.
Notes to the Criminal Procedure Rules, and some rules, include references to sentencing legislation replaced by the Act. The table below lists the references in Parts 9, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 39 of the Criminal Procedure Rules where new provisions apply. When the Rules are next amended those references will be brought up to date.
Amendments to Criminal Practice Directions
The Lord Chief Justice has made some amendments to the Criminal Practice Directions. The amendments provide that a Taser carried by a police officer attending court requires no special judicial authority if it is part of that officer’s standard personal protection equipment. They list as a criterion for convening an additional pre-trial case management hearing in the Crown Court the existence of a substantial volume of unused prosecution material, or complex problems arising in connection with such material. They clarify references to the adults expected to attend court with young defendants. They clarify references to the occasions on which special measures directions are given. For more information, see the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website.
These amendments come into force on 16 November 2020. When they come into force they will appear on the Criminal Procedure Rules and Practice Directions 2020 page.
Criminal Procedure Rules 2020 now in force
The new, consolidated, Criminal Procedure Rules 2020 came into force on Monday 5 October 2020. The Criminal Procedure Rules and Practice Directions 2020 page now contains the new rules.
The Criminal Procedure Rules 2020
The Criminal Procedure Rule Committee has made a new consolidation of the Criminal Procedure Rules. The 2020 Rules replace the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 and the amendments made to those rules since then. The new rules come into force on Monday 5 October 2020.
The new rules are published on the Legislation website. When they come into force they will appear on this website, too. The guide to the new rules, below, describes what they contain.
Amendments to Criminal Practice Directions
The Lord Chief Justice has made some practice direction amendments that came into force on Wednesday 13 May 2020. The Criminal Procedure Rules page now includes those changes.
The amendments give magistrates guidance on how to deal with a defendant who fails to give name, date of birth or nationality when required to do so. They supplement rules about alerting a court to the existence of sensitive information which is not required to be disclosed to the defendant. They give courts guidance on dealing with defendants brought to court in police custody and on dealing with a defendant who attends court late, in breach of bail. They give magistrates and Crown Court judges guidance on the Crown Court centres at which appeals from magistrates’ courts should be heard and on the courts at which proceedings for breach of community orders should be dealt with. For more information, see the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website.
Criminal Procedure (Amendment No. 2) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020
The Criminal Procedure Rule Committee has made some temporary changes to Parts 2, 3, 5, 14, 18, 24, 25, 28, 47 and 50 of the Criminal Procedure Rules because of modifications to legislation made by the Coronavirus Act 2020. The main changes are to the rules about live link directions and to other references to live links.
The new rules are published on the Legislation website. They come into force on Tuesday 14 April 2020. They remain in force only until relevant sections of the Coronavirus Act 2020 expire.
The Criminal Procedure Rules page now includes the temporarily amended versions of those Parts of the Rules as well as the versions that will apply again when the temporary amendments expire.
Criminal Procedure Rule changes now in force
The changes to the Criminal Procedure Rules made by the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2020 came into force on Monday 6 April 2020. The Criminal Procedure Rules page now includes those changes.