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Courts Act 2003

Criminal Procedure Rule Committee

167.The creation of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee (Crim PRC) will establish one forum for the development of rules, to determine the practices and procedures to be used in all criminal courts in England and Wales. The Committee will be responsible for introducing consistency in procedures. Having consulted beforehand, the Committee will meet to discuss proposals and consider drafted rules.

168.There are currently two Committees with different purposes and differing powers – the Magistrates’ Courts’ Rule Committee (under s144 of the MCA 1980) and the Crown Court Rule Committee (under ss84 and 86 of the SCA 1981). They each deal with rules concerning criminal and civil business. Neither Committee has over-arching responsibility for ensuring consistency across the courts. They rarely meet, usually working via correspondence.

169.The CrimPRC will take on responsibilities currently exercised by the Magistrates’ Courts’ Rule Committee and the Crown Court Rule Committee, insofar as they relate to rules of criminal practice and procedure.

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