Amendments to the Criminal Practice Directions November 2016
Summary of Key Changes
This is the second amendment to the Criminal Practice Directions 2015  EWCA Crim 97. It is handed down by the Lord Chief Justice on 16th November 2016 and comes into force with immediate effect.
This update provides amendments to exiting Criminal Practice Directions and supplements the Criminal Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2016, S.I. 2016/705 that came into force on 3rd October 2016.
- CPD I General Matters 3M: PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATIONS FOR ARMED POLICE PRESENCE IN THE ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE, CROWN COURTS AND MAGISTRATES’ COURT BUILDINGS
This update reflects that applications may be made in relation to cases listed in the Royal Courts of Justice and outlines the procedure to be followed when such applications are made.
- CPD II Preliminary proceedings 9A: ALLOCATION (MODE OF TRIAL)
This amendment mandates that when dealing with Allocation decisions in the magistrates’ court, the court must refer to the Sentencing Council’s Guideline on Allocation. This is necessary to promote and encourage a consistent approach nationally to ensure that cases are dealt with at the appropriate court. This gives effect to recommendations made in Sir Brian Leveson’s Review of Efficiency in Criminal Proceedings.
- CPD II Preliminary proceedings 10A: PREPARATION AND CONTENT OF THE INDICTMENT
Sir Brian Leveson’s Efficiency Review highlighted that the present process for dealing with indictments “is a significant and unnecessary administrative burden for the prosecution and the courts”. The Criminal Procedure Rules were amended this year to try and alleviate that burden and this replacement practice direction provides guidance to supplement changes to CrimPR 3.21 and 3.24 and the new rules in part 10. The practice direction provides additional guidance in relation to procedures to be followed when using electronic versions of the indictment.
- CPD V Evidence 19B: STATEMENTS OF UNDERSTANDING AND DECLARATIONS OF TRUTH IN EXPERT REPORTS and 19C: PRE-HEARING DISCUSSION OF EXPERT EVIDENCE
The additions to the practice direction on experts’ evidence at 19B outline the terms of the proposed declaration to satisfy CrimPR 19.4(j). Practice Direction 19C, about pre-trial discussions is amended to include a suggested requirement for a joint declaration from experts. These put into effect recommendations made in Sir Brian Leveson’s Review of Efficiency in Criminal Proceedings.
Lord Chief Justice
16th November 2016