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Draft Community Prosecution Lawyers Bill


Draft Community Prosecution Lawyers Bill
Part 1 — Office and functions of Community Prosecution Lawyer

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A

Bill

To

establish the post of Community Prosecution Lawyer for each parliamentary

constituency in England and Wales; to provide for the direct election of such

lawyers; to make arrangements for the role of such lawyers in the prosecution

of offences relating to anti-social behaviour; to establish the relationship

between such lawyers and the Crown Prosecution Service; and for connected

purposes.                                                                            

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1

Office and functions of Community Prosecution Lawyer

General provisions for the office of Community Prosecution Lawyer

 1     Office of Community Prosecution Lawyer

     (1)    There shall be an office of Community Prosecution Lawyer in each

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parliamentary constituency in England and Wales.

     (2)    A Community Prosecution Lawyer shall hold office in accordance with the

provisions of Part 2 of this Act.

     (3)    Unless otherwise specified in this Act or under any other enactment (whenever

passed), a Community Prosecution Lawyer shall not be under the direction of

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the Director of Public Prosecutions (“the Director”).

     (4)    Schedule 1 (which makes provision about the operations of the office of Community

Prosecution Lawyer) shall have effect.

 
Bill 9053/2
 
 

Draft Community Prosecution Lawyers Bill
Part 1 — Office and functions of Community Prosecution Lawyer

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Functions relating to anti-social behaviour offences

 2     Principal function of a Community Prosecution Lawyer

     (1)    It shall be the principal function of a Community Prosecution Lawyer to

institute and have the conduct of proceedings relating to anti-social behaviour

offences which are alleged to have been committed in the parliamentary

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constituency in respect of which he was elected.

     (2)    In pursuance of his principal function, a Community Prosecution Lawyer shall

give advice, to such extent as he considers appropriate, to the relevant police

force on all matters relating to anti-social behaviour offences in the

parliamentary constituency in respect of which he was elected.

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     (3)    In pursuance of his principal function, a Community Prosecution Lawyer shall

have the conduct of applications for orders under section 1C of the Crime and

Disorder Act 1998 (c. 37) (anti-social behaviour orders made on conviction of

certain offences).

     (4)    Where any enactment (whenever passed) prohibits the taking of any step

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relating to the principal function of a Community Prosecution Lawyer—

           (a)           except by the Director or except by him or another, or

           (b)           without the consent of the Director or without his consent or the

consent of another

            it shall not prohibit the taking of any such step by a Community Prosecution

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Lawyer.

     (5)    Where a Community Prosecution Lawyer has the conduct of any criminal

proceedings relating to the principal function of a Community Prosecution

Lawyer, the Director shall not, in relation to those proceedings, be subject to

any duty by virtue of section 3(2) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c. 23)

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(duties of the Director).

     (6)    Schedule 2 (relating to the designation of anti-social behaviour offences for the

purposes of this Act) shall have effect.

 3     Conduct of prosecutions on behalf of a Community Prosecution Lawyer

     (1)    A Community Prosecution Lawyer may at any time appoint a person who is

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not a member of his legal staff or a Crown Prosecutor but who has a general

qualification (within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services

Act 1990 (c. 41) (qualification for judicial and certain other appointments)) to

institute or take over the conduct of such criminal proceedings relating to an

anti-social behaviour offence as the Community Prosecution Lawyer may

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assign to him.

     (2)    Any person conducting proceedings assigned to him under this section shall

have all the powers of members of the legal staff of the Community

Prosecution Lawyer, but shall exercise those powers subject to any instructions

given to him by the Community Prosecution Lawyer or by a member of his

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legal staff.

 4     Delivery of recognisances etc. to a Community Prosecution Lawyer

     (1)    Where a Community Prosecution Lawyer or any member of his legal staff

gives notice to any justice of the peace that he has instituted, or is conducting,

 

 

Draft Community Prosecution Lawyers Bill
Part 1 — Office and functions of Community Prosecution Lawyer

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any criminal proceedings relating to an anti-social behaviour offence, the

justice shall—

           (a)           at the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner; or

           (b)           in a particular case, at the time and in the manner directed by the

Attorney General

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            send him every recognisance, information, certificate, deposition, document

and thing connected with those proceedings which the justice is required by

law to deliver to the appropriate officer of the Crown Court.

     (2)    The Attorney General may make regulations for the purpose of supplementing

this section and, in subsection (1), “prescribed” means prescribed by those

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regulations.

     (3)    The Community Prosecution Lawyer, or, as the case may be, the member of his

legal staff shall—

           (a)           subject to the regulations, cause anything which is sent to him under

the provisions of subsection (1) and of regulations made under

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subsection (2) to be delivered to the appropriate officer of the Crown

Court; and

           (b)           be under the same obligation (on the same payment) to deliver to an

applicant copies of anything so sent to that officer.

 5     Reports to a Community Prosecution Lawyer by a chief officer of police

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     (1)    The Attorney General shall make regulations requiring the chief officer of

police of the relevant police force to give to a Community Prosecution Lawyer

information with respect to every anti-social behaviour offence which is

alleged to have been committed in the parliamentary constituency in respect of

which the Community Prosecution Lawyer was elected where it appears to the

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chief officer of police that there is a prima facie case for proceedings.

     (2)    The regulations shall also require every such chief officer to give to the

Community Prosecution Lawyer such information as the Community

Prosecution Lawyer may require with respect to such cases or classes of case as

he may from time to time specify.

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     (3)    After section 8(1) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c. 23) (reports to the

Director by chief officers of police) there shall be inserted—

           “(1A)              Regulations under subsection (1) may not prescribe offences which are

anti-social behaviour offences within the meaning given in accordance

with the provisions of the Community Prosecution Lawyers Act 2003.”

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 6     Control of certain fees, etc. paid by a Community Prosecution Lawyer

     (1)    The Attorney General may, with the approval of the Treasury, by regulations

make such provision as he considers appropriate in relation to—

           (a)           the fees of any legal representative briefed to appear on behalf of a

Community Prosecution Lawyer in any criminal proceedings relating

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to anti-social behaviour offences; and

           (b)           the costs and expenses of witnesses attending to give evidence at the

instance of a Community Prosecution Lawyer and, subject to

subsection (2), of any other person who, in the opinion of the

Community Prosecution Lawyer, necessarily attends for the purpose of

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the case otherwise than to give evidence.

 

 

Draft Community Prosecution Lawyers Bill
Part 1 — Office and functions of Community Prosecution Lawyer

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     (2)    The power conferred on the Attorney General by subsection (1)(b) only relates

to the costs and expenses of an interpreter if the interpreter is required because

of the lack of English of a person attending to give evidence at the instance of

a Community Prosecution Lawyer.

     (3)    In subsection (1)(b) “attending” means attending at the court or elsewhere.

5

     (4)    The regulations may, in particular—

           (a)           prescribe scales or rates of fees, costs or expenses; and

           (b)           specify conditions for the payment of fees, costs or expenses.

     (5)    Regulations made under subsection (1)(b) may provide that scales or rates of

costs and expenses shall be determined by the Attorney General with the

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consent of the Treasury.

 7     Transfer of cases to the Crown Prosecution Service

     (1)    A Community Prosecution Lawyer may transfer responsibility for proceedings

relating to an anti-social behaviour offence reported to him in accordance with

the provisions of section 5 to a Crown Prosecutor.

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     (2)    Where responsibility for proceedings is transferred in accordance with the

provisions of subsection (1)—

           (a)           the Crown Prosecutor shall proceed in accordance with the provisions

of Part 1 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c. 23); and

           (b)           the Community Prosecution Lawyer shall cease to have the conduct of

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proceedings relating to the offence.

     (3)    In this section “responsibility for proceedings” includes all decisions relating to

the institution and conduct of proceedings.

Functions relating to other offences

 8     Transfer of cases to a Community Prosecution Lawyer

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     (1)    The Director may transfer responsibility for proceedings relating to an offence

reported to him in accordance with the provisions of section 8 of the

Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 to the Community Prosecution Lawyer

elected in respect of the parliamentary constituency in which the offence is

alleged to have been committed.

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     (2)    Where responsibility for proceedings is transferred in accordance with the

provisions of subsection (1), the provisions of Part 1 of the Prosecution of

Offences Act 1985 shall apply, in respect of those proceedings, to—

           (a)           the Community Prosecution Lawyer as if he were a Crown Prosecutor,

and

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           (b)           the staff of the Community Prosecution Lawyer as if they were staff of

the Crown Prosecution Service.

     (3)    In this section “responsibility for proceedings” has the same meaning as in

section 7.

 

 

Draft Community Prosecution Lawyers Bill
Part 2 — Elections, disqualification, etc.

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Part 2

Elections, disqualification, etc.

Qualifications for election

 9     Register of persons legally qualified for election and holding office

     (1)    It shall be the duty of the Director to maintain a Register of persons recorded

5

as legally qualified to seek election as a Community Prosecution Lawyer and

to hold the office of Community Prosecution Lawyer in accordance with the

provisions of this section.

     (2)    Where any person applies for his name to appear on the Register, the Director

shall enter that person’s name on the Register if that person meets the

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conditions specified in subsections (3) and (4).

     (3)    The condition specified in this subsection is that the person has a general

qualification (within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services

Act 1990 (c. 41) (qualification for judicial and certain other appointments)).

     (4)    The condition specified in this subsection is that the person is a fit and proper

15

person to hold the office of Community Prosecution Lawyer.

     (5)    A decision on whether or not a person meets the condition specified in

subsection (4) shall be made in the first instance by the Director.

     (6)    In any case where, under subsection (5), the Director decides that a person does

not meet the condition specified in subsection (4), he shall inform the person

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concerned in writing as soon as practicable, giving reasons for his decision.

     (7)    The person concerned may appeal against a decision under subsection (5) to

the Attorney General.

     (8)    The decision of the Attorney General on whether or not a person meets the

condition specified in subsection (4) shall be final.

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     (9)    The Register shall be published in such manner as the Director thinks fit to

enable the contents of the Register to be readily available to members of the

public.

 10    Removal of names of persons from the Register

     (1)    It shall be the duty of the Director to remove the name of a person from the

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Register of persons legally qualified to seek election as a Community

Prosecution Lawyer and to hold the office of Community Prosecution Lawyer

in accordance with the provisions of this section.

     (2)    Where a person whose name appears on the Register ceases to have a general

qualification (within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services

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Act 1990 (qualification for judicial and certain other appointments)), the

Director shall, as soon as practicable, remove his name from the Register.

     (3)    Where the Director is of the opinion that a person whose name appears on the

Register has, as a result of his actions, ceased to be a fit and proper person to

hold the office of Community Prosecution Lawyer, the Director shall inform

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the Attorney General of that opinion in writing, giving reasons for his opinion.

 

 

Draft Community Prosecution Lawyers Bill
Part 2 — Elections, disqualification, etc.

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     (4)    A copy of that written opinion shall be sent as soon as practicable to the person

concerned.

     (5)    In any case where, following receipt of an opinion under subsection (3) or

otherwise, the Attorney General is of the opinion that a person whose name

appears on the Register has, as a result of his actions, ceased to be a fit and

5

proper person to hold the office of Community Prosecution Lawyer, he shall

inform the person concerned in writing as soon as practicable, giving reasons

for his decision.

     (6)    The person concerned may, within a period of one week, appeal against a

decision under subsection (5) to the High Court.

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     (7)    The decision of the High Court on whether or not to uphold the opinion of the

Attorney General under subsection (5) shall be made within a period of three

weeks from the date of the appeal and shall be final.

     (8)    Where the Attorney General has reached an opinion under subsection (5)

which—

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           (a)           has not been the subject of an appeal under subsection (6), or

           (b)           has been upheld on appeal under subsection (7)

            the Director shall, as soon as practicable, remove the name of the person

concerned from the Register.

 11    Qualifications for election and holding office

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     (1)    A person shall, unless disqualified by virtue of this Act or any other enactment,

be qualified to be elected to and to hold the office of Community Prosecution

Lawyer if he meets the conditions specified in this section.

     (2)    The condition specified in this subsection is that the person is—

           (a)           a British subject, or

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           (b)           a citizen of the European Union (within the meaning of Article 17 of the

Treaty establishing the European Community).

     (3)    The condition specified in this subsection is that the person will, on the relevant

day, have attained the age of twenty-one years.

     (4)    The condition specified in this subsection is that the person will not, on the

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relevant day, have attained the age of sixty-one years.

     (5)    The condition specified in this subsection is that the name of the person duly

appears on the Register published under section 9.

     (6)    In this section “the relevant day” means the next date for the holding of an

election for the office of Community Prosecution Lawyer in the parliamentary

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constituency concerned as determined in accordance with the provisions of

sections 16 to 18.

 12    Disqualification for election

     (1)    A person shall be disqualified from being elected to the office of Community

Prosecution Lawyer if he has, at any time in the period beginning five years

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before the relevant day, been convicted in the United Kingdom, the Channel

Islands or the Isle of Man of any offence and has had passed on him a sentence

of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than three

months without the option of a fine.

 

 

Draft Community Prosecution Lawyers Bill
Part 2 — Elections, disqualification, etc.

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     (2)    Any person convicted at any time of an offence under section 27 of this Act

shall be disqualified.

     (3)    In this section “relevant day” has the same meaning as in section 11.

Arrangements for elections

 13    Entitlement to vote

5

     (1)    A person is entitled to vote as an elector at an election for the office of

Community Prosecution Lawyer if he entitled to vote at a parliamentary

election in the same constituency.

     (2)    For the purposes of this section, entitlement to vote shall be determined in

accordance with the provisions of section 1 of the Representation of the People

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Act 1983 (c. 2) (parliamentary electors).

 14    Regulations relating to elections of Community Prosecution Lawyers

     (1)    The Lord Chancellor shall make regulations governing the conduct of ordinary

elections and of by-elections for the office of Community Prosecution Lawyer.

     (2)    Regulations under this section shall prescribe arrangements for the receipt and

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verification of nominations submitted by or on behalf of candidates qualified

for the office of Community Prosecution Lawyer in accordance with the

provisions of sections 9 to 12 of this Act and section 426D of the Insolvency Act

1986 (c. 45).

     (3)    Regulations under this section shall prescribe that there shall be a single vote

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in such elections and that the candidate returned as elected shall be the

candidate to whom the majority of votes has been cast.

     (4)    Regulations under this section shall prescribe functions of the Electoral Commission in

the regulation and control of elections for the office of Community Prosecution Lawyer.

     (5)    Regulations under this section shall prescribe a period for the election

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campaign, the first day of which shall be known as the “campaign day”.

     (6)    Regulations under this section may provide that any provision of the

Representation of the People Act 1983 relating to the conduct of parliamentary

elections shall apply to elections for the office of Community Prosecution

Lawyer.

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     (7)    Regulations under this section shall prescribe the place and manner of voting

at such elections.

     (8)    Regulations under this section may not be made unless a draft has been laid

before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

     (9)    No draft may be laid before Parliament under subsection (8) until the Lord

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Chancellor has consulted the Electoral Commission.

     (10)   At the same time as any draft regulations are laid before Parliament under

subsection (8), the Lord Chancellor shall also lay before Parliament a report of

the outcome of his consultations with the Electoral Commission.

     (11)   In this section—

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