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The Criminal Procedure Rules 2020

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PART 1THE OVERRIDING OBJECTIVE

Contents of this Part
The overriding objectiverule 1.1
The duty of the participants in a criminal caserule 1.2
The application by the court of the overriding objectiverule 1.3

The overriding objective

1.1.—(1) The overriding objective of this procedural code is that criminal cases be dealt with justly.

(2) Dealing with a criminal case justly includes―

(a)acquitting the innocent and convicting the guilty;

(b)dealing with the prosecution and the defence fairly;

(c)recognising the rights of a defendant, particularly those under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

(d)respecting the interests of witnesses, victims and jurors and keeping them informed of the progress of the case;

(e)dealing with the case efficiently and expeditiously;

(f)ensuring that appropriate information is available to the court when bail and sentence are considered; and

(g)dealing with the case in ways that take into account―

(i)the gravity of the offence alleged,

(ii)the complexity of what is in issue,

(iii)the severity of the consequences for the defendant and others affected, and

(iv)the needs of other cases.

The duty of the participants in a criminal case

1.2.—(1) Each participant, in the conduct of each case, must―

(a)prepare and conduct the case in accordance with the overriding objective;

(b)comply with these Rules, practice directions and directions made by the court; and

(c)at once inform the court and all parties of any significant failure (whether or not that participant is responsible for that failure) to take any procedural step required by these Rules, any practice direction or any direction of the court. A failure is significant if it might hinder the court in furthering the overriding objective.

(2) Anyone involved in any way with a criminal case is a participant in its conduct for the purposes of this rule.

The application by the court of the overriding objective

1.3.  The court must further the overriding objective in particular when―

(a)exercising any power given to it by legislation (including these Rules);

(b)applying any practice direction; or

(c)interpreting any rule or practice direction.

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