Prisons and Courts Bill (HC Bill 170)

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Section 30

SCHEDULE 3 Conducting preliminary proceedings in writing: children and young people

Involvement of parent or guardian in proceedings conducted in writing

1 (1) Section 34A of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (attendance at
5court of parent or guardian) is amended in accordance with this paragraph.

(2) In the heading, after “court” insert “or other involvement”.

(3) After subsection (1) insert—

(1A) Where a child or young person (C) is charged with an offence, the
court—

(a) 10may in any case; and

(b) shall in a case where C is under the age of sixteen years,

exercise the functions conferred by subsections (1B) and (1C) (insofar
as they are applicable to the proceedings) unless and to the extent
that the court is satisfied that it would be unreasonable to do so,
15having regard to the circumstances of the case.

(1B) Where any stage of the proceedings is conducted in writing, the
court may or shall (in accordance with subsection (1A))—

(a) ascertain whether a person who is a parent or guardian of C
is aware that the written proceedings are taking place, and

(b) 20provide information about the written proceedings to that
person if he or she is not aware of them.

(1C) Where C gives a written indication of plea under section 24ZA of the
Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, the court may or shall (in accordance
with subsection (1A))—

(a) 25ascertain whether a person who is a parent or guardian of C
is aware that the written indication of plea has been given,
and

(b) bring the written indication of plea to the attention of that
person if he or she is not aware of it.”

(4) 30In subsection (2), for “the reference in subsection (1)” substitute “a reference
in any of subsections (1) to (1C)”.

Indication of plea by under-18: choice of written procedure

2 After section 24 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 insert—

24ZA   Indication of plea by under-18: choice of written procedure

(1) 35This section applies where—

(a) a person under the age of 18 years is charged with an offence
other than one falling within section 51A(12) of the Crime
and Disorder Act 1998 (“the 1998 Act”); and

(b) if the person appeared or was brought before a magistrates’
40court, the court would, but for the application of the
provisions of section 24A, be required at that stage, by virtue
of Criminal Procedure Rules made under section 51(3A) or
51A(4A) of the 1998 Act or by virtue of section 51A(3)(b) of

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the 1998 Act, to determine, in relation to the offence, whether
to send the person to the Crown Court for trial (or to
determine any matter, the effect of which would be to
determine whether he is sent to the Crown Court for trial).

(2) 5But Criminal Procedure Rules may make provision about
circumstances in which this section does not apply.

(3) The court must give the person one or more documents which—

(a) state the charge against the person;

(b) explain that the person may choose to give a written
10indication of whether (if the offence were to proceed to trial)
he or she would plead guilty or not guilty;

(c) explain the way in which, and the time period within which,
the a written indication of plea would have to be given (if the
person chose to give one);

(d) 15explain that, if the person chooses not to give a written
indication of plea, the proceedings will continue in
accordance with section 24A;

(e) explain that, if the person chooses to give a written indication
of a guilty plea—

(i) 20the proceedings will continue as mentioned in
subsection (4); and

(ii) (in cases where the offence is one mentioned in
section 91(1) of the Powers of Criminal Courts
(Sentencing) Act 2000) the person may be sent to the
25Crown Court for sentencing under section 3B or (if
applicable) 3C of that Act if the court is of such
opinion as is mentioned in subsection (2) of the
applicable section;

(f) explain that, if the person chooses to give a written indication
30of a not guilty plea, the proceedings will continue as
mentioned in subsection (5);

(g) explain the effect of section 24DA;

(h) ask the person—

(i) whether he or she chooses to give a written indication
35of plea, and

(ii) if he or she chooses to do so, whether (if the offence
were to proceed to trial) he or she would plead guilty
or not guilty;

(i) set out any other information required or authorised by
40Criminal Procedure Rules.

(4) If the person gives a written indication of a guilty plea, section 9
applies as if the offence were a summary offence.

(5) If the person gives a written indication of a not guilty plea, the court
shall proceed to make the relevant determination and this section
45shall cease to apply.

(6) If the person fails to give a written indication of plea—

(a) this section ceases to have effect, and

(b) section 24A has effect (but see sections 24(1) and (1A) and
24DA).

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(7) If—

(a) the person gives a written indication of plea before attaining
the age of 18 years, and

(b) after the person attains that age, the court is considering
5whether to deal with the person as an adult,

the court may only deal with the person in a way that it could have
dealt with the person if he or she had indicated that plea at a hearing
which took place before the person attained 18 years.”

(8) The following shall not for any purpose be taken to constitute the
10taking of a plea—

(a) asking the person under this section whether (if the offence
were to proceed to trial) he or she would plead guilty or not
guilty;

(b) a written indication of plea under this section.

(9) 15The explanations required by subsection (3) must be given in
ordinary language.

(10) If a person gives a written indication of plea, and at any time before
the case is heard the court receives an indication given by the person
that he or she wishes to withdraw the written indication of plea—

(a) 20the designated officer for the court must inform the
prosecutor of the withdrawal,

(b) this section ceases to apply, and

(c) section 24A applies (see subsection (1A)).

(11) Subsection (1) does not prevent a magistrates’ court from complying
25with subsection (3) by giving the required documents in anticipation
of the determination under subsection (1)(b).

(12) A reference in this section to a person charged with an offence is a
reference to—

(a) a person in respect of whom a summons or warrant has been
30issued under section 1;

(b) a person who has been charged with an offence under Part 4
of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984; or

(c) a person against whom a written charge has been issued
under section 29 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

(13) 35In this section—

  • “relevant determination” means the determination referred to
    in subsection (1)(b);

  • “written indication of plea” means a written indication given by
    a person in accordance with this section of whether (if the
    40offence were to proceed to trial) he or she would plead guilty
    or not guilty (and “written indication of a guilty plea” and
    “written indication of a not guilty plea” are to be read
    accordingly).”

3 In section 24A of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (child or young person to
45indicate intention as to plea in certain cases)—

(a) in subsection (1)(b), for “section 51(7) or (8) or 51A(3)(b), (4) or (5)”
substitute “Criminal Procedure Rules made under section 51(3A) or
51A(4A) of the 1998 Act or by virtue of section 51A(3)(b)”;

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(b) after subsection (1) insert—

(1A) But where section 24ZA applies, this section does not apply
unless the accused has failed to give a written indication of
plea in accordance with that section.”

5Under-18 absent from allocation proceedings

4 After section 24D of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 insert—

24DA Allocation proceedings: power to proceed if accused under-18 absent

(1) This section applies if—

(a) section 24ZA applies,

(b) 10a person has been given the documents required by section
24ZA(3),

(c) section 24ZA ceases to have effect by virtue of section
24ZA(6)(a) (failure by person to give written indication of
plea),

(d) 15the person fails to attend allocation proceedings in a
magistrates’ court, and

(e) it is proved to the satisfaction of the court, on oath or in such
other manner as may be prescribed, that—

(i) notice of the allocation proceedings was served on the
20accused within what appears to the court to be a
reasonable time before its date, or

(ii) the accused has appeared on a previous occasion to
answer the charge.

(2) The court may proceed in the absence of the accused in accordance
25with such of the provisions of section 24A as are applicable in the
circumstances.

(3) If a magistrates’ court proceeds under section 24A in accordance
with this section—

(a) the accused is to be taken to indicate that he or she would (if
30the offence were to proceed to trial) plead not guilty;

(b) section 24C applies to the court.

(4) In this section “allocation proceedings” means proceedings under
section 24A.”

Section 51A of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998

5 (1) 35Section 51A of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (sending cases to the Crown
Court: children and young persons) is amended in accordance with this
paragraph.

(2) Before subsection (1) insert—

(A1) This section applies where a child or young person is charged with
40an offence and any of the conditions mentioned in subsection (3)
below is satisfied.

(A2) But Criminal Procedure Rules may make provision about
circumstances in which this section does not apply.”

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(3) Omit subsection (2).

(4) In subsection (3)(b), (c) and (d) for “the court” substitute “a magistrates’
court”.

(5) After subsection (3) insert—

(3A) 5A magistrates’ court must give the child or young person one or
more documents which—

(a) state the charge against the person;

(b) explain that a magistrates’ court is required to send the
person to the Crown Court for trial for the offence;

(c) 10set out any other information required or authorised by
Criminal Procedure Rules.

(3B) As soon as practicable after giving the documents required by
subsection (3A), the magistrates’ court must send the person to the
Crown Court for trial for the offence (which need not be done in open
15court).

(3C) Subsections (3A) and (3B) have effect subject to Criminal Procedure
Rules made under subsection (4A).”

(6) For subsections (4) to (10) substitute—

(4A) Criminal Procedure Rules may make provision about situations
20where—

(a) this section applies to an offence alleged to have been
committed by a child or young person (C), and

(b) any other offence (whether the other offence is alleged to
have been committed by C or by another person, and
25whether or not this section applies to the other offence) is
related to the offence alleged to have been committed by C.

(4B) The provision that may be made in the rules includes provision for
the other offence to be sent to the Crown Court even if it is a
summary offence.

(4C) 30Subsection (A1) does not prevent a magistrates’ court from
complying with subsection (3A) by giving the required documents in
anticipation of the conditions in subsection (3) being met.”

Section 32

SCHEDULE 4 Live links in criminal proceedings

35Part 1 Expansion of powers under the Criminal Justice Act 2003

Introduction

1 The Criminal Justice Act 2003 is amended in accordance with this Part of this
Schedule.

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Live links in criminal proceedings

2 (1) Section 51 is amended in accordance with sub-paragraphs (2) to (7).

(2) For subsection (1) substitute—

(1) A person may, if the court so directs, take part in eligible criminal
5proceedings through—

(a) a live audio link, or

(b) a live video link.

(1A) No direction under this section may be given for a jury to take part
in eligible criminal proceedings through a live audio link or a live
10video link.”

(3) In subsection (2)—

(a) for the words before paragraph (a) substitute—

(2) In this Part “eligible criminal proceedings” means—”;

(b) in paragraph (b), after “trial” insert “and any proceedings that are
15preliminary or incidental to such an appeal”;

(c) in paragraph (c) after “indictment” insert “or any other trial in the
Crown Court for an offence”;

(d) after paragraph (c) insert—

(ca) proceedings under section 4A or 5 of the Criminal
20Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964,

(cb) proceedings under Part 3 of the Mental Health Act
1983,

(cc) proceedings under—

(i) section 11 of the Powers of the Criminal
25Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, or

(ii) section 81(1)(g) of the Senior Courts Act 1981
or section 16 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003
in respect of a person who has been remanded
by a magistrates’ court on adjourning a case
30under that section of the 2000 Act,”;

(e) in paragraph (d), after “Court of Appeal” insert “and any
proceedings that are preliminary or incidental to such an appeal”;

(f) after paragraph (d) insert—

(da) a reference to the Court of Appeal by the Attorney
35General under Part 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988
and any proceedings that are preliminary or
incidental to such a reference,”;

(g) in paragraph (e), after “Criminal Appeal Act 1995 (c.35)1995 (c.35)” insert “and
any proceedings that are preliminary or incidental to such a
40hearing”;

(h) in paragraph (f), omit “and”;

(i) after paragraph (f) insert—

(fa) a hearing under section 142(1) or (2) of the
Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 or under section 155 of
45the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act
2000,”;

(j) in paragraph (g), after “Act” insert “and any proceedings that are
preliminary or incidental to such a hearing, and”;

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(k) after paragraph (g) insert—

(h) any hearing following conviction held for the
purpose of making a decision about bail in respect of
the person convicted.”

(4) 5For subsection (4) substitute—

(4) But the court may not give a direction for a person to take part in
eligible criminal proceedings through a live audio link or a live video
link unless—

(a) the court is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice for the
10person concerned to take part in the proceedings in
accordance with the direction through the live audio link or
through the live video link,

(aa) the parties to the proceedings have been given the
opportunity to make representations, and

(ab) 15the relevant youth offending team has been given the
opportunity to make representations, if it is a case where the
defendant is a party to the proceedings and either—

(i) the defendant has not attained the age of 18 years, or

(ii) the defendant has attained the age of 18 years since
20proceedings for the offence were begun, and the court
has decided to continue to deal with the case as if he
or she had not attained that age.”

(5) After subsection (4) insert—

(4A) The power conferred by this section includes power to give—

(a) 25a direction that is applicable to several, or all, of the persons
taking part in particular eligible criminal proceedings;

(b) a direction that is applicable to a particular person in respect
of only some aspects of particular eligible criminal
proceedings (such as giving evidence or attending the
30proceedings when not giving evidence);

(c) a direction for a person who is outside England and Wales
(whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) to take part in
eligible criminal proceedings through a live audio link or a
live video link.

(4B) 35The power of the court to give a direction under this section is subject
to Schedule 3A (prohibitions and limitations on use of live links).

(4C) If a court gives a live link direction under this section for a person to
take part in particular proceedings by giving evidence through a live
audio link or a live video link, the person may not give evidence
40except in accordance with the direction.

(4D) The court may rescind a live link direction under this section at any
time before or during the eligible criminal proceedings to which it
relates (but this does not affect the court’s power to give a further live
link direction in relation to the proceedings).

(4E) 45A live link direction under this section may not be rescinded
unless—

(a) the court is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice for the
direction to be rescinded,

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(b) the parties to the proceedings have been given the
opportunity to make representations,

(c) the relevant youth offending team has been given the
opportunity to make representations, if it is a case where the
5defendant is a party to the proceedings and either—

(i) the defendant has not attained the age of 18 years, or

(ii) the defendant has attained the age of 18 years since
proceedings for the offence were begun, and the court
has decided to continue to deal with the case as if he
10or she had not attained that age.”

(6) Omit subsection (5).

(7) For subsections (7) and (8) substitute—

(7) Those circumstances include in particular—

(a) in the case of a direction relating to a witness—

(i) 15the importance of the witness’s evidence to the
proceedings;

(ii) whether a direction might tend to inhibit any party to
the proceedings from effectively testing the witness’s
evidence;

(b) 20in the case of a direction relating to any participant in the
proceedings—

(i) the availability of the person;

(ii) the need for the person to attend in person;

(iii) the views of the person;

(iv) 25the suitability of the facilities at the place where the
person would take part in the proceedings in
accordance with a proposed direction;

(v) whether the person will be able to take part in the
proceedings effectively if he or she takes part in
30accordance with a proposed direction.

(8) The court must give the following reasons in relation to all eligible
criminal proceedings (insofar as the circumstances to which the
reasons relate arise in the proceedings concerned) and must (if the
court is a magistrates’ court) cause the reasons to be entered into its
35register of proceedings—

(a) its reasons for the proceedings not being conducted wholly as
audio proceedings;

(b) its reasons for the proceedings not being conducted wholly as
video proceedings;

(c) 40as respects each person taking part in the proceedings—

(i) its reasons for not giving a direction for the person to
take part in the proceedings through a live audio link;

(ii) its reasons for not giving a direction for the person to
take part in the proceedings through a live video link;

(d) 45the rescission of any live link direction under this section
given in relation to the proceedings.

(9) The following functions of a magistrates’ court under this section
may be discharged by a single justice—

(a) giving a live link direction under this section;

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(b) rescinding a live link direction before the eligible criminal
proceedings concerned begin; and

(c) requiring or permitting a person to attend by live link a
hearing about a matter within paragraph (a) or (b).

(10) 5A court may not refuse or revoke bail for a person (P) at eligible
criminal proceedings if—

(a) any person takes part in the proceedings— other than for the
purpose of giving evidence — through a live audio link, and

(b) P objects to the refusal or revocation.

(11) 10But subsection (10) does not apply if section 4 of the Bail Act 1976
does not apply to P.

(12) A court may not deal with a person for contempt of court (including
enquiring into conduct and imposing punishment) at eligible
criminal proceedings in which any person takes part — other than
15for the purpose of giving evidence — through a live audio link.”

(8) Omit section 52.

Magistrates’ courts permitted to sit at other locations

3 (1) Section 53 is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1)—

(a) 20in paragraph (a), for “evidence to be given through a live link in
proceedings before the court” substitute “a person to take part in
proceedings before the court through a live audio link or a live video
link”;

(b) in paragraph (b), for “receiving such evidence” substitute “such
25participation”.

Requirement to attend at court, holding proceedings in court etc

4 After section 53 insert—

53A Requirement to attend court, perjury

(1) A person who takes part in eligible criminal proceedings in
30accordance with a direction under section 51 is to be treated as
complying with any requirement (however imposed or expressed)
for that person to attend or appear before court, or to surrender to the
custody of the court, for the purposes of that participation in those
proceedings.

(2) 35A person who takes part in eligible criminal proceedings in
accordance with a direction under section 51 is to be treated as
present in court for the purposes of those proceedings.

(3) Eligible criminal proceedings that are conducted—

(a) wholly as audio proceedings, or

(b) 40wholly as video proceedings,

are to be regarded as taking place at the location where the judge or
justices (or both) take part in the proceedings.

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(4) A statement made on oath by a witness outside the United Kingdom
and given in evidence through a live audio link or a live video link
in accordance with a direction under section 51 is to be treated for the
purposes of section 1 of the Perjury Act 1911 as having been made in
5the proceedings in which it is given in evidence.”

Warning to jury

5 In section 54(1), for “a live link” insert “a live audio link or a live video link
by a witness (including the defendant)”.

Rules of court

6 (1) 10Section 55 is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (2)—

(a) in paragraph (a), omit “or 52”

(b) in paragraph (b), for “live links” substitute “live audio links and live
video links”.

(3) 15In subsection (3)—

(a) in paragraph (a), omit “uncontested”;

(b) in paragraph (c), omit “or 52”.

Interpretation

7 (1) Section 56 is amended as follows.

(2) 20In subsection (1)—

(a) before the definition of “legal representative” insert—

  • ““bail” includes remand to local authority
    accommodation in accordance with Chapter 3 of Part
    3 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of
    25Offenders Act 2012,

  • “eligible criminal proceedings” has the meaning given
    in section 51(2),”;

(b) after the definition of “local justice area” insert—

  • ““relevant youth offending team” means the youth
    30offending team (established under section 39 of the
    Crime and Disorder Act 1998) whose functions are
    exercisable in relation to the defendant concerned,”.

(3) For subsection (2) substitute—

(2A) A reference to a person taking part in eligible criminal proceedings
35includes—

(a) giving evidence in the proceedings, and

(b) attending the proceedings when not giving evidence.

(2B) A person (P) takes part in eligible criminal proceedings through a
live audio link if, by means of a live telephone link or other
40arrangement—

(a) the person is able to hear all of the other persons taking part
in the proceedings (including any who are not in court), and

(b)