Updated: Message from Lord Burnett, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales – 11th amendment to criminal practice directions

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The 11th amendment to the criminal practice directions 2015 was issued on 29 October 2020 and came into force on 16 November 2020.

The update has been amended to refer to police officers carrying Tasers in court buildings alongside their “operational equipment”, rather than “Standard Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)”.

The consolidated criminal practice directions 2015 has been amended accordingly.

Today (29 October 2020) I am issuing the eleventh amendment to the criminal practice directions 2015.

This update includes a new amendment which will permit police officers to carry Tasers in court buildings    alongside their standard Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) when attending on routine court business, such as delivering exhibits, obtaining warrants and when giving evidence. The amendment will still require an application to be made where the carrying of tasers is part of a tactical deployment for security purposes.

Other changes will add substantial or complex disclosure of unused prosecution material as another reason for directing a further pre-trial case management hearing in the Crown Court.

There are minor amendments to clarify who may be the “required appropriate adult” contemplated in the two parts of the practice direction where this term appears.

Finally, an amendment to CPD V 18E will remove any confusion as to when to judge a witnesses age for the purposes of determining eligibility for special measures by replacing the term “special measures hearing” with “special measures determination”.

Along with the criminal procedure rules, the practice directions provide the framework for practice and procedure in the criminal jurisdiction. I urge you therefore to read and become familiar with their content.

This update will come into force on Monday 16 November 2020.

Lord Burnett of Maldon,
Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales