Criminal Procedure Rules
Part III: Further Practice Directions Applying in The Crown Court And Magistrates' Courts
|Part III||Further Directions applying in the Crown Court and Magistrates' Courts|
|III.21||Classification of Crown Court Business and Allocation to Crown Court Centres|
|III.22||Applications for Evidence to be Given in Welsh|
|III.23||Use of the Welsh Language in Courts in Wales|
|III.24||Evidence by Written Statement|
|III.25||Bail During Trial|
|III.26||Facts to be Stated on Pleas of Guilty|
|III.28||Victim Personal Statements|
|III.29||Support for Witnesses Giving Evidence by Live Television Link|
|III.30||Treatment of Vulnerable Defendants|
|III.31||Binding Over Orders and Conditional Discharges|
CLASSIFICATION OF CROWN COURT BUSINESS AND ALLOCATION TO CROWN COURT CENTRES
(III.21.1) For the purposes of trial in the Crown Court offences are classified as follows:
(a) Misprision of treason and treason felony;
(d) Torture, hostage-taking and offences under the War Crimes Act 1991;
(e) An offence under the Official Secrets Acts;
(h) Child destruction;
(i) Abortion (section 58 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861);
(k) An offence under section 1 of the Geneva Conventions Act 1957;
(n) Soliciting, incitement, attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above offences.
(b) Sexual intercourse with a girl under 13;
(c) Incest with girl under 13;
(d) Assault by penetration;
(e) Causing a person to engage in sexual activity, where penetration is involved;
(f) Rape of a child under 13;
(g) Assault of a child under 13 by penetration;
(h) Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, where penetration is involved;
(i) Sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder, where penetration is involved;
(j) Inducement to procure sexual activity with a mentally disordered person where penetration is involved;
(k) Paying for sexual services of a child where child is under 13 and penetration is involved;
(l) Committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence, where the offence is kidnapping or false imprisonment;
(m) Soliciting, incitement, attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above offences.
All other offences not listed in classes 1 or 2.
Cases committed, transferred or sent for trial
(III.21.2) The magistrates’ court, upon either committing a person for trial under section 6 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, or sending a person under section 51 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, shall:
(a) if the offence or any of the offences is included in Class 1, specify the most convenient location of the Crown Court where a High Court Judge, or, where a Circuit Judge duly authorised by the Lord Chief Justice to try class 1 cases, regularly sits.
(b) if the offence or any of the offences is included in Class 2, specify the most convenient location of the Crown Court where a Judge duly authorised to try Class 2 regularly sits. These courts on each Circuit will be identified by the Presiding Judges, with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice.
(c) where an offence is in Class 3 the magistrates' court shall specify the most convenient location of the Crown Court.
Where a case is transferred under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 or section 53 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, the authority shall, in specifying the proposed place of trial in the notice of transfer, comply with the provisions of this paragraph.
(III.21.3) In selecting the most convenient location of the Crown Court the justices shall have regard to the considerations referred to in section 7 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 and section 51(10) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the location or locations of the Crown Court designated by a Presiding Judge as the location to which cases should normally be committed from their court.
(III.21.4) Where on one occasion a person is committed in respect of a number of offences all the committals shall be to the same location of the Crown Court and that location shall be the one where a High Court Judge regularly sits if such a location is appropriate for any of the offences.
Committals following breach
(III.21.5) Where, in the Crown Court, a community order or an order for conditional discharge has been made, or a suspended sentence has been passed, and the offender is subsequently found or alleged to be in breach before a magistrates' court which decides to commit the offender to the Crown Court, he shall be committed in accordance with paragraphs III.21.6, III.21.7 or III.21.8.
(III.21.6) He shall be committed to the location of the Crown Court where the order was made or the suspended sentence was passed, unless it is inconvenient, impracticable or inappropriate to do so in all the circumstances.
(III.21.7) If, for whatever reason, he is not so committed and the order was made or sentence passed by a High Court Judge, he shall be committed to the most convenient location of the Crown Court where a High Court Judge regularly sits.
(III.21.8) In all other cases he shall be committed to the most convenient location of the Crown Court.
(III.21.9) In selecting the most convenient location of the Crown Court, the justices shall have regard to the locations of the Crown Court designated by a Presiding Judge as the locations to which cases should normally be committed from their court.
Notice of transfer in cases of serious or complex fraud
(III.21.10) Where a notice of transfer is served under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 the proposed place of trial to be specified in the notice shall be one of the Crown Court centres designated by the Senior Presiding Judge.
Notice of transfer in child witness cases
(III.21.11) Where a notice of transfer is served under section 53 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (child witness cases) the proposed place of trial to be specified in accordance with paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 6 to the Act shall be a Crown Court centre which is equipped with live television link facilities.
USE OF THE WELSH LANGUAGE IN COURTS IN WALES
(III.23.1) The purpose of this direction is to reflect the principle of the Welsh Language Act 1993 that in the administration of justice in Wales the English and Welsh languages should be treated on a basis of equality.
(III.23.2) It is the responsibility of the legal representatives in every case in which the Welsh language may be used by any witness or party or in any document which may be placed before the court to inform the court of that fact so that appropriate arrangements can be made for the listing of the case.
(III.23.3) If the possible use of the Welsh language is known at the time of committal, transfer or appeal to the Crown Court, the court should be informed immediately after committal or transfer or when the notice of appeal is lodged. Otherwise the court should be informed as soon as possible use of the Welsh language becomes known.
(III.23.4) If costs are incurred as a result of failure to comply with these directions, a wasted costs order may be made against the defaulting party and/or his legal representatives.
(III.23.5) The law does not permit the selection of jurors in a manner which enables the court to discover whether a juror does or does not speak Welsh or to secure a jury whose members are bilingual to try a case in which the Welsh language may be used.
Plea and directions hearings
(III.23.6) An advocate in a case in which the Welsh language may be used must raise that matter at the plea and directions hearing and endorse details of it on the judge's questionnaire so that appropriate directions may be given for the progress of the case.
(III.23.7) The listing officer, in consultation with the resident judge, should ensure that a case in which the Welsh language may be used is listed (a) wherever practicable before a Welsh speaking judge, and (b) in a court in Wales with simultaneous translation facilities.
(III.23.8) Whenever an interpreter is needed to translate evidence from English into Welsh or from Welsh into English, the court manager in whose court the case is to be heard shall ensure that the attendance is secured of an interpreter whose name is included in the list of approved court interpreters.
(III.23.9) The jury bailiff when addressing the jurors at the start of their period of jury service shall inform them that each juror may take an oath or affirm in Welsh or English as he wishes.
(III.23.10) After the jury has been selected to try a case, and before it is sworn, the court officer swearing in the jury shall inform the jurors in open court that each juror may take an oath or affirm in Welsh or English as he wishes.
(III.23.11) When each witness is called the court officer administering the oath or affirmation shall inform the witness that he may be sworn or may affirm in Welsh or English, as he wishes.
Opening/closing of courts
(III.23.12) Unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so, the opening and closing of the court should be performed in Welsh and English.
EVIDENCE BY WRITTEN STATEMENT
(III.24.1) Where the prosecution proposes to tender written statements in evidence either under sections 5A and 5B of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 or section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 it will frequently be not only proper, but also necessary for the orderly presentation of the evidence, for certain statements to be edited. This will occur either because a witness has made more than one statement whose contents should conveniently be reduced into a single, comprehensive statement or where a statement contains inadmissible, prejudicial or irrelevant material. Editing of statements should in all circumstances be done by a Crown Prosecutor (or by a legal representative, if any, of the prosecutor if the case is not being conducted by the Crown Prosecution Service) and not by a police officer.
(III.24.2) A composite statement giving the combined effect of two or more earlier statements or settled by a person referred to in paragraph III.24.1 must be prepared in compliance with the requirements of sections 5A and 5B of the 1980 Act or section 9 of the 1967 Act as appropriate and must then be signed by the witness.
Editing single statements
(III.24.3) There are two acceptable methods of editing single statements.
(a) By marking copies of the statement in a way which indicates the passages on which the prosecution will not rely. This merely indicates that the prosecution will not seek to adduce the evidence so marked. The original signed statement to be tendered to the court is not marked in any way. The marking on the copy statement is done by lightly striking out the passages to be edited so that what appears beneath can still be read, or by bracketing, or by a combination of both. It is not permissible to produce a photocopy with the deleted material obliterated, since this would be contrary to the requirement that the defence and the court should be served with copies of the signed original statement. Whenever the striking out/bracketing method is used, it will assist if the following words appear at the foot of the frontispiece or index to any bundle of copy statements to be tendered: ‘The prosecution does not propose to adduce evidence of those passages of the attached copy statements which have been struck out and/or bracketed (nor will it seek to do so at the trial unless a notice of further evidence is served).’
(b) By obtaining a fresh statement, signed by the witness, which omits the offending material, applying the procedure in paragraph III.24.2.
(III.24.4) In most cases where a single statement is to be edited, the striking out/bracketing method will be the more appropriate, but the taking of a fresh statement is preferable in the following circumstances:
(a) When a police (or other investigating) officer's statement contains details of interviews with more suspects than are eventually charged, a fresh statement should be prepared and signed omitting all details of interview with those not charged except, insofar as it is relevant, for the bald fact that a certain named person was interviewed at a particular time, date and place.
(b) When a suspect is interviewed about more offences than are eventually made the subject of committal charges, a fresh statement should be prepared and signed omitting all questions and answers about the uncharged offences unless either they might appropriately be taken into consideration or evidence about those offences is admissible on the charges preferred, such as evidence of system. It may, however, be desirable to replace the omitted questions and answers with a phrase such as: ‘After referring to some other matters, I then said ... “... ... ...” ’, so as to make it clear that part of the interview has been omitted.
(c) A fresh statement should normally be prepared and signed if the only part of the original on which the prosecution is relying is only a small proportion of the whole, although it remains desirable to use the alternative method if there is reason to believe that the defence might itself wish to rely, in mitigation or for any other purpose, on at least some of those parts which the prosecution does not propose to adduce.
(d) When the passages contain material which the prosecution is entitled to withhold from disclosure to the defence.
(III.24.5) Prosecutors should also be aware that, where statements are to be tendered under section 9 of the 1967 Act in the course of summary proceedings, there will be a need to prepare fresh statements excluding inadmissible or prejudicial material rather than using the striking out or bracketing method.
(III.24.6) None of the above principles applies, in respect of committal proceedings, to documents which are exhibited (including statements under caution and signed contemporaneous notes). Nor do they apply to oral statements of a defendant which are recorded in the witness statements of interviewing police officers, except in the circumstances referred to in paragraph III.24.4(b). All this material should remain in its original state in the committal bundles, any editing being left to prosecuting counsel at the Crown Court (after discussion with defence counsel and, if appropriate, the trial judge).
(III.24.7) Whenever a fresh statement is taken from a witness, a copy of the earlier, unedited statement(s) of that witness will be given to the defence in accordance with the Attorney General's guidelines on the disclosure of unused material (Practice Note  1 All ER 734) unless there are grounds under paragraph 6 of the guidelines for withholding such disclosure.
BAIL DURING TRIAL
(III.25.1) Paragraphs III.25.2 to III.25.5 are to be read subject to the Bail Act 1976, especially section 4.
(III.25.2) Once a trial has begun the further grant of bail, whether during the short adjournment or overnight, is in the discretion of the trial judge. It may be a proper exercise of this discretion to refuse bail during the short adjournment if the accused cannot otherwise be segregated from witnesses and jurors.
(III.25.3) An accused who was on bail while on remand should not be refused overnight bail during the trial unless in the opinion of the judge there are positive reasons to justify this refusal. Such reasons are likely to be:
(a) that a point has been reached where there is a real danger that the accused will abscond, either because the case is going badly for him, or for any other reason;
(b) that there is a real danger that he may interfere with witnesses or jurors.
(III.25.4) There is no universal rule of practice that bail shall not be renewed when the summing-up has begun. Each case must be decided in the light of its own circumstances and having regard to the judge's assessment from time to time of the risks involved.
(III.25.5) Once the jury has returned a verdict a further renewal of bail should be decided in the light of the gravity of the offence and the likely sentence to be passed in all the circumstances of the case.
FACTS TO BE STATED ON PLEAS OF GUILTY
(III.26.1) To enable the press and the public to know the circumstances of an offence of which an accused has been convicted and for which he is to be sentenced, in relation to each offence to which an accused has pleaded guilty the prosecution shall state those facts in open court before sentence is imposed.
Standard for the provision of information of antecedents in the Crown Court and magistrates' courts
(III.27.1) In the Crown Court the police will provide brief details of the circumstances of the last three similar convictions and/or of convictions likely to be of interest to the court, the latter being judged on a case by case basis. This information should be provided separately and attached to the antecedents as set out below.
(III.27.2) Where the current alleged offence could constitute a breach of an existing community order, e.g. community rehabilitation order, and it is known that that order is still in force then, to enable the court to consider the possibility of revoking that order, details of the circumstances of the offence leading to the community order should be included in the antecedents as set out below.
Preparation of antecedents and standard formats to be used
(III.27.3) In magistrates' courts and the Crown Court:
Personal details and summary of convictions and cautions – Police National Computer [“PNC”] Court/Defence/Probation Summary Sheet;
Previous convictions – PNC Court/Defence/Probation printout, supplemented by Form MG16 if the police force holds convictions not shown on PNC;
Recorded cautions – PNC Court/Defence/Probation printout, supplemented by Form MG17 if the police force holds cautions not shown on PNC.
And, in addition, in the Crown Court:
Circumstances of the last three similar convictions;
Circumstances of offence leading to a community order still in force;
Form MG(c). The detail should be brief and include the date of the offence.
Provision of antecedents to the court and parties
(III.27.4) The Crown Court antecedents will be prepared by the police immediately following committal proceedings, including committals for sentence, transfers under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 or section 53 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 or upon receipt of a notice of appeal, excluding non-imprisonable motoring offences.
(III.27.5) Seven copies of the antecedents will be prepared in respect of each defendant. Two copies are to be provided to the Crown Prosecution Service [“CPS”] direct, the remaining five to be sent to the Crown Court. The court will send one copy to the defence and one to the Probation Service. The remaining copies are for the court's use. Where following conviction a custodial order is made one copy is to be attached to the order sent to the prison.
(III.27.6) The antecedents must be provided, as above, within 21 days of committal or transfer in each case. Any points arising from them are to be raised with the police by the defence solicitor as soon as possible and, where there is time, at least seven days before the hearing date so that the matter can be resolved prior to that hearing.
(III.27.7) Seven days before the hearing date the police will check the record of convictions. Details of any additional convictions will be provided using the standard format above. These will be provided as above and attached to the documents already supplied. Details of any additional outstanding cases will also be provided at this stage.
(III.27.8) The magistrates' court antecedents will be prepared by the police and submitted to the CPS with the case file.
(III.27.9) Five copies of the antecedents will be prepared in respect of each defendant and provided to the CPS who will be responsible for distributing them to others at the sentencing hearing. Normally two copies will be provided to the court, one to the defence and one to the Probation Service when appropriate. Where following conviction a custodial order is made, one of the court's copies is to be attached to the order sent to the prison.
(III.27.10) In instances where antecedents have been provided to the court some time before the hearing the police will, if requested to do so by the CPS, check the record of convictions. Details of any additional convictions will be provided using the standard format above. These will be provided as above and attached to the documents already supplied. Details of any additional outstanding cases will also be provided at this stage.
(III.27.11) The above arrangements whereby the police provide the antecedents to the CPS for passing on to others will apply unless there is a local agreement between the CPS and the court that alters that arrangement.
VICTIM PERSONAL STATEMENTS
(III.28.1)This section draws attention to the Victim Personal Statement scheme, which started on 1 October 2001, to give victims a more formal opportunity to say how a crime has affected them. It may help to identify whether they have a particular need for information, support and protection. It will also enable the court to take the statement into account when determining sentence. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate for relatives of a victim to make a Victim Personal Statement, for example where the victim has died as a result of the relevant criminal conduct.
(III.28.2)When a police officer takes a statement from a victim the victim will be told about the scheme and given the chance to make a Victim Personal Statement. The decision about whether or not to make a victim personal statement is entirely for the victim. A Victim Personal Statement may be made or updated at any time prior to the disposal of the case. It will not normally be appropriate for a Victim Personal Statement to be made after the disposal of the case; there may be rare occasions between sentence and appeal when an update to the Victim Personal Statement may be necessary, for example, when the victim was injured and the final prognosis was not available at the date of sentence. If the court is presented with a victim personal statement the following approach should be adopted:
(a) The victim personal statement and any evidence in support should be considered and taken into account by the court prior to passing sentence.
(b) Evidence of the effects of an offence on the victim contained in the victim personal statement or other statement, must be in proper form, that is a witness statement made under section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 or an expert's report, and served upon the defendant's solicitor or the defendant, if he is not represented, prior to sentence. Except where inferences can properly be drawn from the nature of or circumstances surrounding the offence, a sentencer must not make assumptions unsupported by evidence about the effects of an offence on the victim.
(c) The court must pass what it judges to be the appropriate sentence having regard to the circumstances of the offence and of the offender, taking into account, so far as the court considers it appropriate, the impact on the victim. The opinions of the victim or the victim's close relatives as to what the sentence should be are therefore not relevant, unlike the consequence of the offence on them. Victims should be advised of this. If, despite the advice, opinions as to sentence are included in the statement, the court should pay no attention to them.
(d) The court should consider whether it is desirable in its sentencing remarks to refer to the evidence provided on behalf of the victim.
SUPPORT FOR WITNESSES GIVING EVIDENCE BY LIVE TELEVISION LINK
(III.29.1) This section of the Practice Direction is made pursuant to Rule 7 of the Crown Court (Special Measures Directions and Directions Prohibiting Cross-examination) Rules 2002 and Rule 7 of the Magistrates' Courts (Special Measures Directions) Rules 2002 and supersedes previous guidance given by the Senior Presiding Judges, Lord Justice Tasker Watkins in 1991 and Lord Justice Auld in 1998.
(III.29.2) An increased degree of flexibility is now appropriate as to who can act as supporter of a witness giving evidence by live television link. Where a special measures direction is made enabling a vulnerable, intimidated or child witness to give evidence by means of a live television link, the trial judge will make a direction as to the identity of the witness supporter. Where practical, the direction will be made before the trial commences. In giving the direction, the trial judge will balance all relevant interests – see paragraph 1.11 of the guidance “Achieving Best Evidence”. The witness supporter should be completely independent of the witness and his or her family and have no previous knowledge of or personal involvement in the case. The supporter should also be suitably trained so as to understand the obligations of, and comply with, the National Standards relating to witness supporters. Providing these criteria are met, the witness supporter need not be an usher or court official. Thus, for example, the functions of the witness supporter may be performed by a representative of the Witness Service.
(III.29.3) Where the witness supporter is someone other than the court usher, the usher should continue to be available both to assist the witness and the witness supporter, and to ensure that the judge's requirements are properly complied with in the CCTV room.
TREATMENT OF VULNERABLE DEFENDANTS
(III.30.1) This direction applies to proceedings in the Crown Court and in magistrates’ courts on the trial, sentencing or (in the Crown Court) appeal of (a) children and young persons under 18 or (b) adults who suffer from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983 or who have any other significant impairment of intelligence and social function. In this direction such defendants are referred to collectively as “vulnerable defendants”. The purpose of this direction is to extend to proceedings in relation to such persons in the adult courts procedures analogous to those in use in youth courts.
(III.30.2) The steps which should be taken to comply with paragraphs III.30.3 to III.30.17 should be judged, in any given case, taking account of the age, maturity and development (intellectual, social and emotional) of the defendant concerned and all other circumstances of the case.
The overriding principle
(III.30.3) A defendant may be young and immature or may have a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983 or some other significant impairment of intelligence and social function such as to inhibit his understanding of and participation in the proceedings. The purpose of criminal proceedings is to determine guilt, if that is in issue, and decide on the appropriate sentence if the defendant pleads guilty or is convicted. All possible steps should be taken to assist a vulnerable defendant to understand and participate in those proceedings. The ordinary trial process should, so far as necessary, be adapted to meet those ends. Regard should be had to the welfare of a young defendant as required by section 44 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, and generally to Parts 1 and 3 of the Criminal Procedure Rules (the overriding objective and the court’s powers of case management).
Before the trial, sentencing or appeal
(III.30.4) If a vulnerable defendant, especially one who is young, is to be tried jointly with one who is not, the court should consider at the plea and case management hearing, or at a case management hearing in a magistrates’ court, whether the vulnerable defendant should be tried on his own and should so order unless of the opinion that a joint trial would be in accordance with Part 1 of the Criminal Procedure Rules (the overriding objective) and in the interests of justice. If a vulnerable defendant is tried jointly with one who is not, the court should consider whether any of the modifications set out in this direction should apply in the circumstances of the joint trial and so far as practicable make orders to give effect to any such modifications.
(III.30.5) At the plea and case management hearing, or at a case management hearing in a magistrates’ court, the court should consider and so far as practicable give directions on the matters covered in paragraphs III.30.9 to III.30.17.
(III.30.6) It may be appropriate to arrange that a vulnerable defendant should visit, out of court hours and before the trial, sentencing or appeal hearing, the courtroom in which that hearing is to take place so that he can familiarise himself with it.
(III.30.7) If any case against a vulnerable defendant has attracted or may attract widespread public or media interest, the assistance of the police should be enlisted to try and ensure that the defendant is not, when attending the court, exposed to intimidation, vilification or abuse. Section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 prohibits the taking of photographs of defendants and witnesses (among others) in the court building or in its precincts, or when entering or leaving those precincts. A direction informing media representatives that the prohibition will be enforced may be appropriate.
(III.30.8) The court should be ready at this stage, if it has not already done so, where relevant to make a reporting restriction under section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 or, on an appeal to the Crown Court from a youth court, to remind media representatives of the application of section 49 of that Act. Any such order, once made, should be reduced to writing and copies should on request be made available to anyone affected or potentially affected by it.
The trial, sentencing or appeal hearing
(III.30.9) Subject to the need for appropriate security arrangements the proceedings should, if practicable, be held in a courtroom in which all the participants are on the same or almost the same level.
(III.30.10) A vulnerable defendant, especially if he is young, should normally, if he wishes, be free to sit with members of his family or others in a like relationship, and with some other suitable supporting adult such as a social worker, and in a place which permits easy, informal communication with his legal representatives. The court should ensure that a suitable supporting adult is available throughout the course of the proceedings.
(III.30.11) At the beginning of the proceedings the court should ensure that what is to take place has been explained to a vulnerable defendant in terms he can understand, and at trial in the Crown Court it should ensure in particular that the role of the jury has been explained. It should remind those representing the vulnerable defendant and the supporting adult of their responsibility to explain each step as it takes place, and at trial to explain the possible consequences of a guilty verdict. Throughout the trial the court should continue to ensure, by any appropriate means, that the defendant understands what is happening and what has been said by those on the bench, the advocates and witnesses.
(III.30.12) A trial should be conducted according to a timetable which takes full account of a vulnerable defendant’s ability to concentrate. Frequent and regular breaks will often be appropriate. The court should ensure, so far as practicable, that the trial is conducted in simple, clear language that the defendant can understand and that cross-examination is conducted by questions that are short and clear.
(III.30.13) A vulnerable defendant who wishes to give evidence by live link in accordance with section 33A of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 may apply for a direction to that effect. Before making such a direction the court must be satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so, and that the use of a live link would enable the defendant to participate more effectively as a witness in the proceedings. The direction will need to deal with the practical arrangements to be made, including the room from which the defendant will give evidence, the identity of the person or persons who will accompany him, and how it will be arranged for him to be seen and heard by the court.
(III.30.14) In the Crown Court robes and wigs should not be worn unless the court for good reason orders that they should. It may be appropriate for the court to be robed for sentencing in a grave case even though it has sat without robes for trial. It is generally desirable that those responsible for the security of a vulnerable defendant who is in custody, especially if he is young, should not be in uniform, and that there should be no recognisable police presence in the courtroom save for good reason.
(III.30.15) The court should be prepared to restrict attendance by members of the public in the court room to a small number, perhaps limited to those with an immediate and direct interest in the outcome. The court should rule on any challenged claim to attend.
(III.30.16) Facilities for reporting the proceedings (subject to any restrictions under section 39 or 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933) must be provided. But the court may restrict the number of reporters attending in the courtroom to such number as is judged practicable and desirable. In ruling on any challenged claim to attend in the court room for the purpose of reporting the court should be mindful of the public’s general right to be informed about the administration of justice.
(III.30.17) Where it has been decided to limit access to the courtroom, whether by reporters or generally, arrangements should be made for the proceedings to be relayed, audibly and if possible visually, to another room in the same court complex to which the media and the public have access if it appears that there will be a need for such additional facilities. Those making use of such a facility should be reminded that it is to be treated as an extension of the court room and that they are required to conduct themselves accordingly.
(III.30.18) Where the court is called upon to exercise its discretion in relation to any procedural matter falling within the scope of this practice direction but not the subject of specific reference, such discretion should be exercised having regard to the principles in paragraph III.30.3.
BINDING OVER ORDERS AND CONDITIONAL DISCHARGES
(III.31.1) This direction takes into account the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in Steel v United Kingdom (1999) 28 EHRR 603,  Crim. L.R. 893 and in Hashman and Harrup v United Kingdom (2000) 30 EHRR 241,  Crim. L.R. 185. Its purpose is to give practical guidance, in the light of those two judgments, on the practice of imposing binding over orders. The direction applies to orders made under the court’s common law powers, under the Justices of the Peace Act 1361, under section 1(7) of the Justices of the Peace Act 1968 and under section 115 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980. This direction also gives guidance concerning the court’s power to bind over parents or guardians under section 150 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 and the Crown Court’s power to bind over to come up for judgment. The court’s power to impose a conditional discharge under section 12 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 is also covered by this direction.
Binding over to keep the peace
(III.31.2) Before imposing a binding over order, the court must be satisfied that a breach of the peace involving violence or an imminent threat of violence has occurred or that there is a real risk of violence in the future. Such violence may be perpetrated by the individual who will be subject to the order or by a third party as a natural consequence of the individual’s conduct.
(III.31.3) In light of the judgment in Hashman and Harrup, courts should no longer bind an individual over “to be of good behaviour”. Rather than binding an individual over to “keep the peace” in general terms, the court should identify the specific conduct or activity from which the individual must refrain.
(III.31.4) When making an order binding an individual over to refrain from specified types of conduct or activities, the details of that conduct or those activities should be specified by the court in a written order served on all relevant parties. The court should state its reasons for the making of the order, its length and the amount of the recognisance. The length of the order should be proportionate to the harm sought to be avoided and should not generally exceed 12 months.
(III.31.5) Sections 51 to 57 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 set out the jurisdiction of the magistrates’ court to hear an application made on complaint and the procedure which is to be followed. This includes a requirement under section 53 to hear evidence and the parties before making any order. This practice should be applied to all cases in the magistrates’ court and the Crown Court where the court is considering imposing a binding over order. The court should give the individual who would be subject to the order and the prosecutor the opportunity to make representations, both as to the making of the order and as to its terms. The court should also hear any admissible evidence the parties wish to call and which has not already been heard in the proceedings. Particularly careful consideration may be required where the individual who would be subject to the order is a witness in the proceedings.
(III.31.6) Where there is an admission which is sufficient to found the making of a binding over order and/or the individual consents to the making of the order, the court should nevertheless hear sufficient representations and, if appropriate, evidence, to satisfy itself that an order is appropriate in all the circumstances and to be clear about the terms of the order.
Burden of proof
(III.31.8) The court should be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of the matters complained of before a binding over order may be imposed. Where the procedure has been commenced on complaint, the burden of proof rests on the complainant. In all other circumstances, the burden of proof rests upon the prosecution.
(III.31.9) Where there is an allegation of breach of a binding over order, the court should be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that a breach has occurred before making any order for forfeiture of a recognisance. The burden of proof shall rest on the prosecution.
(III.31.10) The court must be satisfied on the merits of the case that an order for binding over is appropriate and should announce that decision before considering the amount of the recognisance. The individual who is made subject to the binding over order should be told he has a right of appeal from the decision.
(III.31.11) When fixing the amount of the recognisance, courts should have regard to the individual’s financial resources and should hear representations from the individual or his legal representatives regarding finances.
Refusal to enter into a recognisance
(III.31.12) If there is any possibility that an individual will refuse to enter a recognisance, the court should consider whether there are any appropriate alternatives to a binding over order (for example, continuing with a prosecution). Where there are no appropriate alternatives and the individual continues to refuse to enter into the recognisance, the magistrates’ court may use its power under section 115(3) of the Magistrates Court Act 1980, and the Crown Court may use its common law power, to commit the individual to custody.
(III.31.13) Before the court exercises a power to commit the individual to custody, the individual should be given the opportunity to see a duty solicitor or another legal representative and be represented in proceedings if the individual so wishes. Public funding should generally be granted to cover representation.
(III.31.14) In the event that the individual does not take the opportunity to seek legal advice, the court shall give the individual a final opportunity to comply with the request and shall explain the consequences of a failure to do so.
(III.31.15) Courts are reminded of the provisions of section 7(5) of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 which excludes from a person’s antecedents any order of the court “with respect to any person otherwise than on a conviction”.
Binding over to come up for judgment
(III.31.16) If the Crown Court is considering binding over an individual to come up for judgment, the court should specify any conditions with which the individual is to comply in the meantime and not specify that the individual is to be of good behaviour.
Binding over of parent or guardian
(III.31.17) Where a court is considering binding over a parent or guardian under section 150 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 to enter into a recognisance to take proper care of and exercise proper control over a child or young person, the court should specify the actions which the parent or guardian is to take.
Security for good behaviour
(III.31.18) Where a court is imposing a conditional discharge under section 12 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, it has the power, under section 12(6) to make an order that a person who consents to do so give security for the good behaviour of the offender. When making such an order, the court should specify the type of conduct from which the offender is to refrain.