Criminal Practice Directions: Amendment No. 3 – effective from 6 April 2015

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The Criminal Practice Directions, Revised March 2015: Summary of Key Changes and Additions

The Criminal Practice Directions were wholly revised and updated in October 2013 with the principle aim of making them more accessible to practitioners as well as encapsulating both legislative change and best practice. They were further updated last July and this represents the third amendment. The amended version will come into effect from 6th April 2015.

This update is purely a consolidation – incorporating protocols and guidance that should rightly be contained within the Criminal Practice Directions and which has been in existence for a number of years. The consolidation exercise is still underway and the Criminal Practice Directions will continue to subsume guidance which has been previously issued where appropriate. In addition to incorporating those pieces of guidance that should be found within these Directions, some redundant and out-dated guidance have been removed from the judicial internet.

Key additions:

  1. CPD XIII Listing and Allocation Annex 4
    This new annex deals with the case management of terrorism cases. It subsumes the guidance previously issued by the Senior Presiding Judge in December 2006, which is now revoked.
  2. CPD XIII Listing and Allocation Annex 5
    This annex incorporates the handling of cases by the Organised Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service. It updates and replaces the guidance previously issued by the Senior Presiding Judge in January 2014, which is now revoked.
  3. CPD II Preliminary Proceedings: 16C Use of live text-based communications from the court room (Twitter)
    This new Practice Direction replaces the guidance previously issued in 2011 by the Lord Chief Justice, which is now revoked.
  4. CPD I General Matters 3L Security of prisoners at court
    This new Practice Direction incorporates the relevant parts of the guidance issued by HMCTS and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) that are especially pertinent to the courts and judiciary.
  5. CPD I General Matters 3M: Applications for armed police presence in Crown Court and magistrates’ court buildings
    This practice direction incorporates the protocol issued by the Senior Presiding Judge in November 2012 that deals with applications for armed police presence at courts, which is now revoked.

Protocols and guidance that are revoked

In addition to these new sections and Practice Directions the following protocols and guidance are hereby revoked. Some of these pieces of guidance have already been subsumed into the Criminal Practice Directions, but I note them here for absolute clarity that they are no longer in force.

  1. 9 December 2012
    Custody Time Limits (CTL): Revised Procedure
  2. 19 November 2012
    Jury Irregularities in the Crown Court
    A Protocol issued by the President of the Queen’s Bench Division
  3. 1 July 2007
    Criminal Case Management Framework
  4. July 2005
    Criminal Case Management Framework and Listing – Circular letter (number 1) from Senior Presiding Judge:
  5. 1 July 2005
    Listing: Issued by the Lord Chief Justice in July 2005 and incorporated into the Crown Court Manual
  6. 1 July 2005
    The new criminal procedure rules, timeliness and pre-trial reviews – Circular letter (number 2) from Senior Presiding Judge
  7. 2 May 2005
    Deployment and allocation of criminal cases – guidance to Resident Judges
  8. 1 May 2005
    Prolific and Other Priority Offenders Programme – Circular letter from Senior Presiding Judge
  9. 5 May 2006
    Protocol for Victim Advocates’ pilot
  10. 20 February 2006
    Disclosure: A Protocol for the Control and Management of Unused Material in the Crown Court
  11. 22 March 2005
    Court transcript – criminal case management, complex case handling and jury service
  12. 5 May 2006
    Bail and proceeding in absence: letter from the SPJ
  13. March 2010
    Serious sexual offences in the youth court: SPJ Guidance
  14. 10 November 2008
    SPJ guidance: issue of medical certificates
  15. March 2009
    Transfer of cases to other circuits for sentence
  16. 5 May 2006
    Listing of defendants in custody and waiting times for solicitors
  17. 1 November 2012
    SPJ Guidance Protocol re armed police offices presence in courts
  18. January 2014
    Management of cases from the Organised Crime Division of the CPS
  19. 1 January 2006
    Best practice guidance for Custody Management Directions for those prisoners who may pose a risk of escape or violence:
  20. December 2006
    Management of Terrorism Protocol
  21. December 2011
    Use of live text-based communications from the court room (Twitter)

Lord Chief Justice
18 March 2015