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Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996


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Part I of the Act provides a statutory scheme of pre‐trial disclosure, placing a clear and continuing duty on the prosecution to disclose any material that ‘might reasonably be considered capable of undermining the case for the prosecution … or of assisting the case for the accused’ (a test modified by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 after much criticism of the subjective, ‘in the prosecutor's opinion’ test that was originally enacted). For the first time, the Act requires the defence to disclose the nature of the defence in cases tried on indictment, although that limited disclosure is voluntary in cases tried summarily. Part II of the Act, inter alia, imposes a duty upon the Home Secretary to prepare a code of practice to regulate the conduct of the police in relation to unused material, which is to be disclosed by the prosecution. See also defence statement; disclosure of unused material.

Subjects: Law.


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