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Criminal Proceedings: Disclosure of Information

Attorney General written question – answered on 2nd June 2020.

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Photo of Dame Cheryl Gillan Dame Cheryl Gillan Conservative, Chesham and Amersham

To ask the Attorney General, whether the oral contribution of the Solicitor General of 22 May 2019, Official Report, column 370 WH, on there being no corresponding legal duty on the defence to disclose information that is harmful to its case was a reference to the potential harm such disclosure might do to an application that a defendant makes for an order to stay the criminal proceeding against them.

Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Attorney-General

There is no duty on the defence to disclose any material or information that may undermine their case in the criminal justice system, including in relation to any application they may make. This is consistent with the fundamental principle that it is for the prosecution to prove its case and not for a defendant to prove their innocence.

All solicitors and barristers are however bound by professional codes of conduct, which include the duty to act with integrity at all times and to uphold the proper administration of justice. The Criminal Procedure Rules and judicial case management are also in place to ensure that any application for a stay of proceedings is fair, both to the prosecution and the defence.

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