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Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008

Part 4 - Other criminal justice provisions

80.The Home Office issued a consultation on extending the ambit of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 to cautions in 1999 (available at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/cons-1999-rehab-offenders). Section 49 amends the 1974 Act to this end.

81.The Home Office consultation “Reform of the Prevention of Corruption Acts and SFO Powers in Cases of Bribery of Foreign Officials,” published in December 2005, included a proposal to extend investigatory powers (under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987) of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to the vetting stage in cases involving allegations of bribery or corruption of overseas officials. The consultation paper and the Government’s response are available at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/cons-2005-bribery/. Section 59 gives effect to this proposal.

82.In a Written Ministerial Statement in April 1996 the then Home Secretary announced a number of changes to the way in which applications for compensation following a miscarriage of justice were handled. Section 61 of this Act gives effect to the legislative proposals announced in April 2006 and the changes impact mainly on the way in which the amount of compensation is assessed by the independent Assessor.

83.Section 8 of the Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act 1998 requires the Secretary of State to lay before Parliament at least once every year a report on the working of the Act. The terrorism provisions (in sections 1-4) of that Act have been repealed and incorporated in the Terrorism Act 2000 leaving only the conspiracy provisions (in sections 5-7) under which agreements to commit acts that are criminal offences in a foreign jurisdiction can be tried as criminal conspiracies in the UK. The conspiracy provisions have been used in a small number of cases and deemed to fulfil their intended purpose satisfactorily but successive reviewers have concluded that annual review of these provisions adds nothing of real value to the scrutiny through the judicial process of the working of the Act. On 10 December 2002 the then Home Secretary (David Blunkett) announced in a written statement (Hansard, column 12WS-14WS) that, on the recommendation of the then reviewer (Lord Carlile of Berriew QC), the requirement to conduct an annual review would be abolished when a legislative opportunity occurred. Section 62 gives effect to this decision.

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