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Criminal Justice Act 1987

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Preparatory hearings

7Power to order preparatory hearing

(1)Where it appears to a judge of the Crown Court that the evidence on an indictment reveals a case of fraud of such seriousness and complexity that substantial benefits are likely to accrue from a hearing (in this Act referred to as a "preparatory hearing") before the jury are sworn, for the purpose of—

(a)identifying issues which are likely to be material to the verdict of the jury;

(b)assisting their comprehension of any such issues;

(c)expediting the proceedings before the jury; or

(d)assisting the judge's management of the trial,

he may order that such a hearing shall be held.

(2)A judge may make an order under subsection (1) above on the application either of the prosecution or of the person indicted or, if the indictment charges a number of persons, any of them, or of his own motion.

(3)If a judge orders a preparatory hearing, he may also order the prosecution to prepare and serve any documents that appear to him to be relevant and whose service could be ordered at the preparatory hearing by virtue of this Part of this Act or Crown Court Rules.

(4)Where—

(a)a judge has made an order under subsection (3) above; and

(b)the prosecution have complied with it,

the judge may order the person indicted or, if the indictment charges a number of persons, any of them to prepare and serve any documents that appear to him to be relevant and whose service could be so ordered at the preparatory hearing.

(5)An order under this section may specify the time within which it is to be complied with, but Crown Court Rules may make provision as to the minimum or maximum time that may be specified for compliance.

8Commencement of trial and arraignment

(1)If a judge orders a preparatory hearing, the trial shall begin with that hearing.

(2)Arraignment shall accordingly take place at the start of the preparatory hearing.

9The preparatory hearing

(1)At the preparatory hearing the judge may exercise any of the powers specified in this section.

(2)The judge may adjourn a preparatory hearing from time to time.

(3)He may determine—

(a)an application under section 6 above:

(b)any question as to the admissibility of evidence; and

(c)any other question of law relating to the case.

(4)He may order the prosecution—

(a)to supply the court and the defendant or, if there is more than one, each of them with a statement (a "case statement") of the following—

(i)the principal facts of the prosecution case;

(ii)the witnesses who will speak to those facts;

(iii)any exhibits relevant to those facts;

(iv)any proposition of law on which the prosecution proposes to rely; and

(v)the consequences in relation to any of the counts in the indictment that appear to the prosecution to flow from the matters stated in pursuance of sub-paragraphs (i) to (iv) above;

(b)to prepare their evidence and other explanatory material in such a form as appears to him to be likely to aid comprehension by the jury and to supply it in that form to the court and to the defendant or, if there is more than one, to each of them;

(c)to give the court and the defendant or, if there is more than one, each of them notice of documents the truth of the contents of which ought in the prosecution's view to be admitted and of any other matters which in their view ought to be agreed;

(d)to make any amendments of any case statement supplied in pursuance of an order under paragraph (a) above that appear to the court to be appropriate, having regard to objections made by the defendant or, if there is more than one, by any of them.

(5)Where—

(a)a judge has ordered the prosecution to supply a case statement; and

(b)the prosecution have complied with the order,

he may order the defendant or, if there is more than one, each of them—

(i)to give the court and the prosecution a statement in writing setting out in general terms the nature of his defence and indicating the principal matters on which he takes issue with the prosecution;

(ii)to give the court and the prosecution notice of any objections that he has to the case statement;

(iii)to inform the court and the prosecution of any point of law (including a point as to the admissibility of evidence) which he wishes to take, and any authority on which he intends to rely for that purpose;

(iv)to give the court and the prosecution a notice stating the extent to which he agrees with the prosecution as to documents and other matters to which a notice under subsection (4)(c) above relates and the reason for any disagreement.

(6)Crown Court Rules may provide that except to the extent that disclosure is required—

(a)by section 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 (alibi); or

(b)by rules under section 81 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (expert evidence),

a summary required by virtue of subsection (5) above need not disclose who will give evidence.

(7)A judge making an order under subsection (5) above shall warn the defendant or, if there is more than one, all of them of the possible consequence under section 10(1) below of not complying with it.

(8)If it appears to a judge that reasons given in pursuance of subsection (5)(iv) above are inadequate, he shall so inform the person giving them, and may require him to give further or better reasons.

(9)An order under this section may specify the time within which any specified requirement contained in it is to be complied with, but Crown Court Rules may make provision as to the minimum or maximum time that may be specified for compliance.

(10)An order or ruling made at or for the purposes of a preparatory hearing shall have effect during the trial, unless it appears to the judge, on application made to him during the trial, that the interests of justice require him to vary or discharge it.

(11)An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from any order or ruling of a judge under subsection (3)(b) or (c) above, but only with the leave of the judge or of the Court of Appeal.

(12)Subject to rules of court made under section 53(1) of the Supreme Court Act 1981 (power by rules to distribute business of Court of Appeal between its civil and criminal divisions), the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal under subsection (11) above shall be exercised by the criminal division of the court; and the reference in that subsection to the Court of Appeal shall be construed as a reference to that division.

(13)The judge may continue a preparatory hearing notwithstanding that leave to appeal has been granted under subsection (11) above, but no jury shall be sworn until after the appeal has been determined or abandoned.

(14)On the termination of the hearing of an appeal, the Court of Appeal may confirm, reverse or vary the decision appealed against.

10Provisions relating to later stages of trial

(1)Where there has been a preparatory hearing, any party may depart from the case which he disclosed at the hearing but, in the event of such a departure or of failure to comply with a requirement imposed at the hearing, the judge or, with the leave of the judge, any other party may make such comment as appears to him to be appropriate and the jury may draw such inference as appears proper.

(2)In deciding whether to give leave the judge shall have regard in all cases—

(a)to the extent of any departure from a case indicated at the preparatory hearing; and

(b)to whether there was any justification for it.

(3)Except as provided by this section no part—

(a)of a statement supplied under section 9(5) above; or

(b)of any other information relating to the case for the defendant or, if there is more than one, the case for any of them, which was given at the preparatory hearing,

may be disclosed at a stage in the trial after the jury have been sworn without the consent of the person who supplied or gave it.

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