New changes to the Criminal Procedure Rules include amendments relating to the correction of court records, disclosure and live links.
The changes made by the new rules will come into force on 1 April.
Rule amendments to live links include clarifying that the applicant for a live link, when the person will be attending from abroad, must show that they have obtained, or will obtain, any permission needed from the authorities for the country from which the live link will be used.
Amendments to deal with the powers to correct inaccurate court records and, if necessary, substitute a valid decision for one which a court, as it later appears, had no power to make, are as a result of ‘several decisions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, most recently in the judgment of the Court of Appeal in R v Butt, R v Jenkins’.
The Criminal Procedure Rule Committee said: ‘It emerged that no present procedure rule applies to the exercise of the power to correct a court record which court staff, or a party to the decision, or the court itself, or another court, can see may be wrong.
‘The Rule Committee agreed to make rules to govern that procedure.’
Rules covering prosecutions disclosure and the statutory obligations on the defence have also been revised and clarified. The Rule Committee agreed to refer explicitly to the prosecution practice of sharing its approach to disclosure and the reasons for that approach.
References to time limits in Part 33 of the CPR will now see days replaced with references to business days, and reference to independent domestic violence advisors and independent sexual violence advisors will be referred to explicitly when referring to the court's power to allow someone to keep a witness company.