First Amendment to the Criminal Practice Directions 2023 – October 2023

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Amendments to the Criminal Practice Directions 2023 – October 2023

Summary of Key Changes

This is the first amendment to the Criminal Practice Directions 2023[1]. It is issued by the Lord Chief Justice and comes into force on 2nd October 2023.

In this amendment:

(1) In Chapter 1 of the Criminal Practice Directions 2023 (General matters), in section 1.1 (Introduction), in paragraph 1.1.1 omit the words after “as amended” to the end of the paragraph.

(2) In Chapter 7 of the Criminal Practice Directions 2023 (Expert evidence), in section 7.2 (Declarations of truth in expert reports), for paragraph 13 of the declaration set out in paragraph 7.2.1 substitute:

“I confirm that I have complied with the code of practice or conduct for experts of my discipline, namely [identify the code], in all respects save as identified in [schedule][annexe][x] to this report. That [schedule][annexe] gives details of the action taken to mitigate any risk of error that might arise as a result.”

The first amendment removes references to the temporarily retained sections of the Criminal Practice Direction 2015, which have been revoked, effective from 2nd October 2023.

The second amendment updates the declaration of truth used in expert reports. From 2nd October 2023, the Forensic Science Regulator: Code of Practice will require an expert witness to declare that they have acted in accordance with their relevant code or identify areas of non-compliance and provide details of steps taken to mitigate the risks associated with the non-compliance. This amendment will ensure that the expert witness’s declaration required by the Criminal Procedure Rules is consistent with the new declaration required by the Forensic Science Regulator’s Code of Practice.

Lord Burnett of Maldon
Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

[1] The Criminal Practice Directions 2023 were issued on 19th April 2023 and came into force on 29th May 2023.