The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2020

Publication Date:January 01, 2020
 
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2020No. 32 (L. 5)

SENIOR COURTS OF ENGLAND AND WALES

MAGISTRATES' COURTS, ENGLAND AND WALES

The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2020

Made14thJanuary2020

Laid before Parliament15thJanuary2020

Coming into force6thApril2020

The Criminal Procedure Rule Committee makes the following Rules under section 69 of the Courts Act 2003( 1), after consulting in accordance with section 72(1)(a) of that Act.

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1. These Rules may be cited as the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2020 and shall come into force on 6th April 2020.

2. In these Rules, a reference to a Part or rule by number alone means the Part or rule so numbered in the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015( 2).

Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Rules

3. In Part 2 (Understanding and applying the Rules)—

(a) for the heading to the Part substitute “Understanding and applying the Rules and powers of authorised court officers”;

(b) before the heading to rule 2.1 (When the Rules apply) insert—

“UNDERSTANDING AND APPLYING THE RULES”;

(c) in rule 2.2 (Definitions), in paragraph (1)—

(i) after the entry for “advocate” insert—

“‘authorised court officer’ has the meaning given by rule 2.4”,

(ii) in the entry for “court”, for “a justices' clerk or assistant clerk” substitute “and an authorised court officer”,

(iii) in the entry for “justices' legal adviser”, for “a justices' clerk or an assistant to a justices' clerk” substitute “a person authorised under section 28 of the Courts Act 2003( 3) to give advice about law to justices' of the peace”, and

(iv) in the entry for “Registrar”, for “acting with the Registrar's authority” substitute “exercising a function of the Registrar”;

(d) in rule 2.3 (References to legislation, including these Rules), in paragraph (2) for “In the courts to which these Rules apply” substitute “In the courts in which these Rules apply”;

(e) after rule 2.3 insert—

“POWERS OF AUTHORISED COURT OFFICERS

Exercise of court's functions by authorised court officers: general rules

2.4.—(1) This rule and rules 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 and 2.9 provide for the exercise of relevant judicial functions within the meaning of section 67A of the Courts Act 2003( 4)?

(a) in a court in which these Rules apply;

(b) by a person authorised for the purpose by the Lord Chief Justice under section 67B of that Act( 5).

(2) In this rule and in rules 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 and 2.9?

(a) ‘authorised court officer’ means any such person;

(b) a reference to an authorised court officer who is legally qualified is a reference to one who has such qualifications as are for the time being prescribed by regulations made under section 28(3) of the Courts Act 2003.

(3) No court officer may?

(a) authorise a person's committal to prison;

(b) authorise a person's arrest (but that exclusion does not apply to the issue of a warrant of arrest, whether or not endorsed for bail, to secure that a person attends court proceedings relating to an offence of which the person has been accused or convicted in a case in which no objection is made by or on behalf of that person to the issue of the warrant);

(c) grant or withhold bail, except to the extent that rule 2.6 or rule 2.8 allows;

(d) adjudicate on guilt, or on the act or omission with which a defendant is charged, except to the extent of?

(i) acquitting a defendant against whom the prosecutor offers no evidence,

(ii) convicting a defendant who pleads guilty, or

(iii) giving a prosecutor permission to withdraw a case;

(e) determine the admissibility of evidence;

(f) set ground rules for the conduct of questioning where rule 3.9(6), (7) (directions for the appropriate treatment and questioning of a witness or the defendant) applies;

(g) make findings of fact for the purpose of sentence, defer or pass sentence, impose a penalty or commit a defendant to the Crown Court for sentence;

(h) make an order for a party or other person to pay costs, unless that party or person agrees;

(i) make any other order consequent upon acquittal, conviction or a finding that the accused did the act or made the omission charged, except to the extent that rule 2.8 allows;

(j) vary, discharge, remit, remove, revoke, review or suspend a sentence, penalty or other order consequent on acquittal or conviction, except to the extent that rule 2.8 allows;

(k) order the search, confiscation, restraint, detention or seizure of property except to the extent that rule 2.8 allows;

(l) determine an appeal or reference to an appeal court, or an application for permission to appeal or refer, except to the extent that rule 2.6 allows; or

(m) determine an allegation of contempt of court.

(4) An authorised court officer may exercise a relevant judicial function for which rule 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 or 2.9 provides?

(a) only subject to the same conditions as apply to its exercise by the court or person whose function it is; and

(b) where a party affected by the exercise of that function is entitled to make representations before its exercise, only if each such party has had a reasonable opportunity to make such representations?

(i) in writing, or

(ii) at a hearing (whether or not that party in fact attends).

(5) Unless the context makes it clear that something different is meant, provision in rule 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 or 2.9 permitting the exercise of a relevant judicial function by an authorised court officer includes a power to decline to exercise that function.

[Note. Under section 67A of the Courts Act 2003, ‘relevant judicial function’ means a function of a court to which the general duty of the Lord Chancellor under section 1 of that Act applies and a judicial function of a person holding an office that entitles the person to exercise functions of such a court, but does not include in a court in which Criminal Procedure Rules apply?

(a) any function so far as its exercise involves authorising a person's committal to prison; or

(b) any function so far as its exercise involves authorising a person's arrest, except the issue of a warrant of arrest (whether or not endorsed for bail) to secure that a person attends court proceedings relating to an offence of which the person has been accused or convicted in a case in which no objection is made by or on behalf of that person to the issue of the warrant.

Under section 67B of the 2003 Act, in a court in which Criminal Procedure Rules apply the Rules may provide for the exercise of relevant judicial functions by persons who are appointed under section 2(1) of that Act and who satisfy any requirements specified in the Rules as to qualifications or experience. Such a person may exercise such a function only if authorised to do so by the Lord Chief Justice.

Section 28 of the 2003 Act provides for persons authorised by the Lord Chief Justice to give advice to justices of the peace about matters of law. Such a person may be authorised for that purpose only if appointed under section 2(1) of that Act and possessed of such qualifications as may be prescribed by regulations made under section 28. See also rule 2.2 (Definitions).]

Exercise of functions of the Court of Appeal

2.5.—(1) This rule provides for the exercise by an authorised court officer of relevant judicial functions of—

(a) the criminal division of the Court of Appeal; and

(b) the Registrar of Criminal Appeals.

(2) Subject to rule 2.4, an authorised court officer may exercise—

(a) any function of the criminal division of the Court of Appeal that may be exercised by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals; and

(b) any other judicial function of the Registrar.

(3) Where an authorised court officer exercises a function of the court—

(a) the same provision as that made by section 31A(4) or section 31C(3), as the case may be, of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968( 6) applies as if that function had been exercised by the Registrar; and

(b) rule 36.5 (Renewing an application refused by a judge or the Registrar) applies.

[Note. See also rule 2.4, which makes general rules about the exercise of judicial functions by authorised court officers.

For the functions of the criminal division of the Court of Appeal that may be exercised by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals, see sections 31A and 31B of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968( 7). For other functions of the Registrar, see section 21 of that Act( 8).

Sections 31A(4) and 31C(3) of the 1968 Act provide for the reconsideration by a judge of a decision by the Registrar to which those provisions apply.]

Exercise of functions of the High Court

2.6.—(1) This rule provides for the exercise by an authorised court officer of relevant judicial functions of the High Court in relation to its jurisdiction under the Extradition Act 2003( 9).

(2) An authorised court officer may exercise any such function of the High Court to which the rules in Section 3 of Part 50 apply (Extradition; Appeal to the High Court), subject to—

(a) rule 2.4; and

(b) paragraph (3) of this rule.

(3) No court officer may—

(a) grant or withhold bail;

(b) impose or vary a condition of bail; or

(c) reopen a decision which determines an appeal or an application for permission to appeal,

unless paragraph (4) applies.

(4) If making a decision to which the parties have agreed in writing, an authorised court officer may—

(a) give or refuse permission to appeal;

(b) determine an appeal;

(c) grant or withhold bail; or

(d) impose or vary a condition of bail.

(5) Paragraph (6) of this rule—

(a) applies where a party wants a judge to reconsider a decision made by an authorised court officer;

(b) does not apply where such an officer agrees to postpone the date on which the required period for extradition begins under section 36(3) of the Extradition Act 2003( 10).

(6) Such a party must—

(a) apply for such a reconsideration as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any event no later than the earlier of—

(i) the next hearing before a judge, or

(ii) the fifth business day after the date on which notice of the decision is served on the applicant;

(b) unless the...

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