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Life in crime

Under the criminal procedure rules the disclosure of witness details remains limited, explains Jeannie Mackie

17 August 2007

The Administrative court delivered an important judgment in R (Kelly) v Warley Magistrates Court [2007] EWHC 1836 about the ambit and limitations of the criminal procedure rules (CPR).

Mr Kelly was awaiting trial for criminal damage in the Warley Magistrates Court. The court directed that his lawyers provide the names and addresses of all potential defence witnesses to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), to enable the CPS to consider any issues in relation to the making of bad character applications in respect of those witnesses.

However, the defence did not comply with this direction, given by a legal adviser to the bench. When asked why not at a subsequent pre-trial hearing they said that as s34 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 was not yet in force, there was no power to make such an order. Section 34 – still not in force – introduces a new s6C into the 1996 Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 ( the 1996 Act) New s6C reads:

“The ac...

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