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Courts Act 2003

Criminal Procedure Rules and practice directions

Section 69: Criminal Procedure Rules

176.This section provides for rules of court to be made by the Crim PRC, to determine the practice and procedure to be followed in all criminal courts in England and Wales. Once established, this Crim PRC will deal with the criminal business matters now dealt with by the Magistrates and Crown Court Rule Committees, but will be able to exercise an over-arching, watching brief to ensure consistency in procedures across the criminal courts and for ensuring that rules are made consistently.

177.The section confirms that Criminal Procedure Rules may be made for different cases or different areas. This distinction is intended to enable the Crim PRC to make rules in support of new initiatives - that is, to enable “pilot” schemes to be established. Rules may also be made for specified courts or proceedings, for example, Youth Courts. Subsection (4) sets out guiding principles that the Crim PRC must follow when making rules, consistent with those that the Family Procedure Rule Committee (FPRC) and the Civil PRC must follow.

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