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Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Seventh Report


Memorandum by the Home Office


  1. This memorandum is submitted in response to a letter of 2 July from the Clerk of the Committee to the Lord Chancellor's Department. The memorandum has been prepared by the Home Office as the Department responsible for drafting the above instrument.

  2. The Committee has requested a memorandum in respect of the above instrument on the following point:

    Rules 3(2) and 3(3)(c) require the appellant in certain cases to serve notice on "all parties to the preparatory hearing directly affected" by the ruling. Rule 4(1) requires the respondent to serve a copy of a notice on the "appellant and other party to the proceedings directly affected by the ruling". Explain what is meant by a party directly affected by the ruling, and why rules 10(1)(b) and 12(2)(b) refer to any other "person" (in addition to the appellant and respondent) who is directly affected by the ruling.

  3. As to the meaning of a "party directly affected by the ruling", the above instrument was drafted so as broadly to mirror the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (Preparatory Hearings) (Interlocutory Appeals) Rules 1988 (S.I.  1988/1700) which set out the procedure applicable to an appeal from the order or ruling of a judge under section 9(3)(b) or (c) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 made at a preparatory hearing in a case of serious or complex fraud. Rules 3(2) and 3(3)(c) of those Rules refer to "parties directly affected" by the order or ruling.

  4. The expression "party directly affected by the ruling" is intended to refer to a party who is affected by the ruling of the Crown Court judge (as to the admissibility of evidence or a point of law), in the sense that the ruling construes the law applying to the criminal charge in question or the evidence which may presented in connection with that charge. There may be other parties to the criminal proceedings who are affected by the ruling in the sense that it will influence the length of the trial or the way in which the trial will be managed, but who are not affected in the sense referred to in the last sentence. It is intended that such persons will not fall within the expression "party directly affected by the ruling".

  5. Concerning the reference in rules 10(1)(b) and 12(2)(b) to a "person" who is directly affected by the ruling, it is accepted that there is a discrepancy between this reference and the reference to a "party" directly affected in rules 3(2), 3(3)(c) and 4(1). The discrepancy is regretted and steps will be taken to amend rules 10(1)(b) and 12(2)(b) at the next available opportunity.

8th July 1997

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