Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996
1996 Chapter 25 - continued

 
 

An Act to make provision about criminal procedure and criminal investigations.

[4th July 1996]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

  PART I
  DISCLOSURE
 
Introduction
Application of this Part.     1. - (1) This Part applies where-
 
 
    (a) a person is charged with a summary offence in respect of which a court proceeds to summary trial and in respect of which he pleads not guilty,
 
    (b) a person who has attained the age of 18 is charged with an offence which is triable either way, in respect of which a court proceeds to summary trial and in respect of which he pleads not guilty, or
 
    (c) a person under the age of 18 is charged with an indictable offence in respect of which a court proceeds to summary trial and in respect of which he pleads not guilty.
      (2) This Part also applies where-
 
 
    (a) a person is charged with an indictable offence and he is committed for trial for the offence concerned,
 
    (b) a person is charged with an indictable offence and proceedings for the trial of the person on the charge concerned are transferred to the Crown Court by virtue of a notice of transfer given under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (serious or complex fraud),
 
    (c) a person is charged with an indictable offence and proceedings for the trial of the person on the charge concerned are transferred to the Crown Court by virtue of a notice of transfer served on a magistrates' court under section 53 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (certain cases involving children),
 
    (d) a count charging a person with a summary offence is included in an indictment under the authority of section 40 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (common assault etc.), or
 
    (e) a bill of indictment charging a person with an indictable offence is preferred under the authority of section 2(2)(b) of the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1933 (bill preferred by direction of Court of Appeal, or by direction or with consent of a judge).
      (3) This Part applies in relation to alleged offences into which no criminal investigation has begun before the appointed day.
 
      (4) For the purposes of this section a criminal investigation is an investigation which police officers or other persons have a duty to conduct with a view to it being ascertained-
 
 
    (a) whether a person should be charged with an offence, or
 
    (b) whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it.
      (5) The reference in subsection (3) to the appointed day is to such day as is appointed for the purposes of this Part by the Secretary of State by order.
 
General interpretation.     2. - (1) References to the accused are to the person mentioned in section 1(1) or (2).
 
      (2) Where there is more than one accused in any proceedings this Part applies separately in relation to each of the accused.
 
      (3) References to the prosecutor are to any person acting as prosecutor, whether an individual or a body.
 
      (4) References to material are to material of all kinds, and in particular include references to-
 
 
    (a) information, and
 
    (b) objects of all descriptions.
      (5) References to recording information are to putting it in a durable or retrievable form (such as writing or tape).
 
      (6) This section applies for the purposes of this Part.
 
 
The main provisions
Primary disclosure by prosecutor.     3. - (1) The prosecutor must-
 
 
    (a) disclose to the accused any prosecution material which has not previously been disclosed to the accused and which in the prosecutor's opinion might undermine the case for the prosecution against the accused, or
 
    (b) give to the accused a written statement that there is no material of a description mentioned in paragraph (a).
      (2) For the purposes of this section prosecution material is material-
 
 
    (a) which is in the prosecutor's possession, and came into his possession in connection with the case for the prosecution against the accused, or
 
    (b) which, in pursuance of a code operative under Part II, he has inspected in connection with the case for the prosecution against the accused.
      (3) Where material consists of information which has been recorded in any form the prosecutor discloses it for the purposes of this section-
 
 
    (a) by securing that a copy is made of it and that the copy is given to the accused, or
 
    (b) if in the prosecutor's opinion that is not practicable or not desirable, by allowing the accused to inspect it at a reasonable time and a reasonable place or by taking steps to secure that he is allowed to do so;
  and a copy may be in such form as the prosecutor thinks fit and need not be in the same form as that in which the information has already been recorded.
 
      (4) Where material consists of information which has not been recorded the prosecutor discloses it for the purposes of this section by securing that it is recorded in such form as he thinks fit and-
 
 
    (a) by securing that a copy is made of it and that the copy is given to the accused, or
 
    (b) if in the prosecutor's opinion that is not practicable or not desirable, by allowing the accused to inspect it at a reasonable time and a reasonable place or by taking steps to secure that he is allowed to do so.
      (5) Where material does not consist of information the prosecutor discloses it for the purposes of this section by allowing the accused to inspect it at a reasonable time and a reasonable place or by taking steps to secure that he is allowed to do so.
 
      (6) Material must not be disclosed under this section to the extent that the court, on an application by the prosecutor, concludes it is not in the public interest to disclose it and orders accordingly.
 
      (7) Material must not be disclosed under this section to the extent that-
 
 
    (a) it has been intercepted in obedience to a warrant issued under section 2 of the Interception of Communications Act 1985, or
 
    (b) it indicates that such a warrant has been issued or that material has been intercepted in obedience to such a warrant.
      (8) The prosecutor must act under this section during the period which, by virtue of section 12, is the relevant period for this section.
 
Primary disclosure: further provisions.     4. - (1) This section applies where-
 
 
    (a) the prosecutor acts under section 3, and
 
    (b) before so doing he was given a document in pursuance of provision included, by virtue of section 24(3), in a code operative under Part II.
      (2) In such a case the prosecutor must give the document to the accused at the same time as the prosecutor acts under section 3.
 
Compulsory disclosure by accused.     5. - (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4), this section applies where-
 
 
    (a) this Part applies by virtue of section 1(2), and
 
    (b) the prosecutor complies with section 3 or purports to comply with it.
      (2) Where this Part applies by virtue of section 1(2)(b), this section does not apply unless-
 
 
    (a) a copy of the notice of transfer, and
 
    (b) copies of the documents containing the evidence,
  have been given to the accused under regulations made under section 5(9) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987.
 
      (3) Where this Part applies by virtue of section 1(2)(c), this section does not apply unless-
 
 
    (a) a copy of the notice of transfer, and
 
    (b) copies of the documents containing the evidence,
  have been given to the accused under regulations made under paragraph 4 of Schedule 6 to the Criminal Justice Act 1991.
 
      (4) Where this Part applies by virtue of section 1(2)(e), this section does not apply unless the prosecutor has served on the accused a copy of the indictment and a copy of the set of documents containing the evidence which is the basis of the charge.
 
      (5) Where this section applies, the accused must give a defence statement to the court and the prosecutor.
 
      (6) For the purposes of this section a defence statement is a written statement-
 
 
    (a) setting out in general terms the nature of the accused's defence,
 
    (b) indicating the matters on which he takes issue with the prosecution, and
 
    (c) setting out, in the case of each such matter, the reason why he takes issue with the prosecution.
      (7) If the defence statement discloses an alibi the accused must give particulars of the alibi in the statement, including-
 
 
    (a) the name and address of any witness the accused believes is able to give evidence in support of the alibi, if the name and address are known to the accused when the statement is given;
 
    (b) any information in the accused's possession which might be of material assistance in finding any such witness, if his name or address is not known to the accused when the statement is given.
      (8) For the purposes of this section evidence in support of an alibi is evidence tending to show that by reason of the presence of the accused at a particular place or in a particular area at a particular time he was not, or was unlikely to have been, at the place where the offence is alleged to have been committed at the time of its alleged commission.
 
      (9) The accused must give a defence statement under this section during the period which, by virtue of section 12, is the relevant period for this section.
 
Voluntary disclosure by accused.     6. - (1) This section applies where-
 
 
    (a) this Part applies by virtue of section 1(1), and
 
    (b) the prosecutor complies with section 3 or purports to comply with it.
      (2) The accused-
 
 
    (a) may give a defence statement to the prosecutor, and
 
    (b) if he does so, must also give such a statement to the court.
      (3) Subsections (6) to (8) of section 5 apply for the purposes of this section as they apply for the purposes of that.
 
      (4) If the accused gives a defence statement under this section he must give it during the period which, by virtue of section 12, is the relevant period for this section.
 
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