Criminal Law Legislation Update

Published date01 February 2005
AuthorSally Louise Ireland
Date01 February 2005
Subject MatterArticle
Criminal Law Legislation
Sally Louise Ireland
Several statutory instruments that have recently come into force, or will
soon come into force, will make substantial changes to procedure in
criminal trials. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Categories of Offences)
Order 2004 is still in draft form, but shows how extensive the changes
wrought by the bad character provisions of the 2003 Act will be. Also
of particular interest is the possibility of gaining anonymity for adult
witnesses under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (see
the commencement order below). Practitioners and academics will be
keeping a keen eye on several Bills currently before Parliament, in
particular the Hunting Bill, whose nal form is still the subject of intense
Statutory instruments
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Categories of Offences) Order
2004 has been published in draft form. This is in anticipation of
the coming into force of the bad character provisions of the 2003
Act (Part 11, Chap 1). The Order species two categories of
offences for the purposes of s. 103(4)(b) of the 2003 Act. Under
the Act, in most cases the prosecution will be able to admit
evidence of the defendants propensity to commit offences of the
same kind as that with which he is charged. One way in which the
prosecution may do this is by adducing evidence of convictions
for offences of the same description or offences in the same
category. These categories are to be prescribed by Order. This
draft Order provides two categories of offences; the theft cate-
gory and the sexual offences (persons under the age of 16)
The Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 (Commence-
ment No. 2) Order 2004 (SI 2004 No. 2642) brings various
provisions of the relevant Act into force on 11 October 2004.
These provisions concern mutual recognition of driver licensing
and disqualication between Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
as well as giving effect in Great Britain to driving disqualications
imposed in the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.
The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (Amendment) and
Police Reform Act 2002 (Modification) Order 2004 (SI 2004 No.
2540) came fully into force on 1 November 2004. It adds offences
* As at 18 November 2004.
Barrister, 18 Red Lion Court.

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