Criminal Justice Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 30th October 2003.

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Photo of Lord Goldsmith Lord Goldsmith Attorney General, Law Officers' Department, Attorney General (Law Officers) 4:45 pm, 30th October 2003

had given notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 111:

After Clause 53, insert the following new clause—

"APPEALS IN RESPECT OF EVIDENTIARY RULINGS

(1) The prosecution may, in accordance with this section and section (Condition that evidentiary ruling significantly weakens prosecution case), appeal in respect of—

(a) a single qualifying evidentiary ruling, or

(b) two or more qualifying evidentiary rulings.

(2) A "qualifying evidentiary ruling" is an evidentiary ruling of a judge in relation to a trial on indictment which is made at any time (whether before or after the commencement of the trial) before the opening of the case for the defence.

(3) The prosecution may not appeal in respect of a single qualifying evidentiary ruling unless the ruling relates to one or more qualifying offences (whether or not it relates to any other offence).

(4) The prosecution may not appeal in respect of two or more qualifying evidentiary rulings unless each ruling relates to one or more qualifying offences (whether or not it relates to any other offence).

(5) If the prosecution intends to appeal under this section, it must before the opening of the case for the defence inform the court—

(a) of its intention to do so, and

(b) of the ruling or rulings to which the appeal relates.

(6) In respect of the ruling, or each ruling, to which the appeal relates—

(a) the qualifying offence, or at least one of the qualifying offences, to which the ruling relates must be the subject of the appeal, and

(b) any other offence to which the ruling relates may, but need not, be the subject of the appeal.

(7) The prosecution must, at the same time that it informs the court in accordance with subsection (5), inform the court of the offence or offences which are the subject of the appeal.

(8) For the purposes of this section, the case for the defence opens when, after the conclusion of the prosecution evidence, the earliest of the following events occurs—

(a) evidence begins to be adduced by or on behalf of a defendant,

(b) it is indicated to the court that no evidence will be adduced by or on behalf of a defendant,

(c) a defendant's case is opened, as permitted by section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1865 (c. 18).

(9) In this section—

"evidentiary ruling" means a ruling which relates to the admissibility or exclusion of any prosecution evidence,

"qualifying offence" means an offence described in Part 1 of Schedule (Qualifying offences for the purposes of section (Appeals in respect of evidentiary rulings)).

(10) The Secretary of State may by order amend that Part by doing any one or more of the following—

(a) adding a description of offence,

(b) removing a description of offence for the time being included,

48 (c) modifying a description of offence for the time being included.

(11) Nothing in this section affects the right of the prosecution to appeal in respect of an evidentiary ruling under section 49."