Guidance

Announcements from the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee

Latest news about the Criminal Procedure Rules, the Criminal Practice Directions and the Rule Committee.

October 2021

Criminal Procedure Rule changes now in force

The changes to the Criminal Procedure Rules made by the Criminal Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2021 came into force on Monday 4 October 2021. The Criminal Procedure Rules and Practice Directions 2020 page now includes those changes.

September 2021

Criminal Procedure Rule Committee appointment

Lord Justice Haddon-Cave and Jodie Blackstock have retired from the Committee. We are indebted to them for their service. The Lord Chief Justice has appointed Mrs Justice Foster DBE as a High Court judge member. The Committee members page has been brought up to date to include this appointment.

July 2021

The Criminal Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2021

The Criminal Procedure Rule Committee has made some changes to the Criminal Procedure Rules. The guide to the new rules, below, describes those changes. The new rules are published on the Legislation website. When they come into force, on Monday 4 October 2021, the changes they make to the Criminal Procedure Rules will appear on the Criminal Procedure Rules and Practice Directions 2020 page.

Guide to the Criminal Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2021 (PDF, 136KB, 4 pages)

June 2021

New magistrates’ court Preparation for Effective Trial form

The Lord Chief Justice has authorised for use with the Criminal Procedure Rules a revised Preparation for Effective Trial form for use in magistrates’ courts and a new youth court version of the PET form. The forms are for use on and after Monday 7 June 2021. The Criminal Procedure Rules: Forms page now includes those new forms.

There is new guidance, too, for using the forms which is meant for defendants who are not represented by lawyers.

May 2021

Criminal Procedure Rule Committee appointment

HH Judge Picton and David Kenyon have retired from the Committee. We are indebted to them for their service. The Lord Chief Justice has appointed HH Judge Field QC as a Circuit judge member. The Committee members page has been brought up to date to include this appointment.

April 2021

Criminal Procedure Rule changes now in force

The last group of changes to the Criminal Procedure Rules made by the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2021 came into force on Monday 5 April 2021. The Criminal Procedure Rules and Practice Directions 2020 page now includes those changes.

February 2021

Criminal Procedure Rule changes now in force

The first group of changes to the Criminal Procedure Rules made by the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2021 came into force on Monday 8 February 2021. The Criminal Procedure Rules and Practice Directions 2020 page now includes those changes.

January 2021

The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2021

The Criminal Procedure Rule Committee has made some changes to the Criminal Procedure Rules. The guide to the new rules, below, describes those changes. The new rules are published on the Legislation website. When they come into force, on Monday 8 February and on Monday 5 April 2021, the changes they make to the Criminal Procedure Rules will appear on the Criminal Procedure Rules and Practice Directions 2020 page.

Guide to the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2021 (PDF, 136KB, 4 pages)

November 2020

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.

References to sentencing legislation in the Criminal Procedure Rules (PDF, 143KB, 8 pages)

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.

October 2020

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.

July 2020

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.

Guide to the Criminal Procedures Rules 2020 (PDF, 261KB, 7 pages)

May 2020

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.

April 2020

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.

Published 1 November 2020
Last updated 4 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. October announcement published.

  2. Criminal Procedure Rule Committee appointment added.

  3. The Criminal Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2021 update.

  4. June 2021 update published.

  5. Criminal Procedure Rule Committee appointment update.

  6. April 2021 update published

  7. Update for February 2021 published.

  8. Announcement regarding Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2021 published.

  9. Sentencing Act changes added.

  10. First published.