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Prosecution of Offences Act 1985

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

23Discontinuance of proceedings in magistrates' courts

(1)Where the Director of Public Prosecutions has the conduct of proceedings for an offence, this section applies in relation to the preliminary stages of those proceedings.

(2)In this section, " preliminary stage " in relation to proceedings for an offence does not include—

(a)in the case of a summary offence, any stage of the proceedings after the court has begun to hear evidence for the prosecution at the trial;

(b)in the case of an indictable offence, any stage of the proceedings after—

(i)the accused has been committed for trial; or

(ii)the court has begun to hear evidence for the prosecution at a summary trial of the offence.

(3)Where, at any time during the preliminary stages of the proceedings, the Director gives notice under this section to the clerk of the court that he does not want the proceedings to continue, they shall be discontinued with effect from the giving of that notice but may be revived by notice given by the accused under subsection (7) below.

(4)Where, in the case of a person charged with an offence after being taken into custody without a warrant, the Director gives him notice, at a time when no magistrates' court has been informed of the charge, that the proceedings against him are discontinued, they shall be discontinued with effect from the giving of that notice.

(5)The Director shall, in any notice given under subsection (3) above, give reasons for not wanting the proceedings to continue.

(6)On giving any notice under subsection (3) above the Director shall inform the accused of the notice and of the accused's right to require the proceedings to be continued; but the Director shall not be obliged to give the accused any indication of his reasons for not wanting the proceedings to continue.

(7)Where the Director has given notice under subsection (3) above, the accused shall, if he wants the proceedings to continue, give notice to that effect to the clerk of the court within the prescribed period; and where notice is so given the proceedings shall continue as if no notice had been given by the Director under subsection (3) above.

(8)Where the clerk of the court has been so notified by the accused he shall inform the Director.

(9)The discontinuance of any proceedings by virtue of this section shall not prevent the institution of fresh proceedings in respect of the same offence.

(10)In this section " prescribed " means prescribed by rules made under section 144 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980.

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