Call for evidence criminal legal aid review
Sir Christopher Bellamy is seeking views from those working in the criminal legal aid system. Consultation closes on Friday 7 May 2021.
We have responded to the Attorney General’s consultation on revisions to guidelines on disclosure in criminal cases, and the associated Code of Practice.
The Attorney General’s Guidelines on Disclosure, along with the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act (CPIA) Code of Practice have been revised to reflect the challenges of modern disclosure practice, including the increase of digital material and the delays this increase causes.
The revisions to the Guidelines and Code will do the following:
We broadly support the changes proposed to the Guidelines, while suggesting some changes to the drafting of the Guidelines.
That the process of disclosure of unused material in criminal cases by investigators and prosecutors is done correctly and in accordance with the law is fundamental to ensuring that an accused person receives a fair trial, and has access to evidence that may undermine the prosecution or support their defence to the charge they face.
The revisions to the Guidelines are an important element in the work that all criminal justice partners have undertaken to improve the disclosure process, including the Law Society on behalf of defence solicitors, to ensure a fair criminal justice process.
The Attorney General’s Office will consider the responses received to the consultation after it closes on 22 July and publish its response in due course.