The eighth amendment to the Criminal Practice Directions 2015 was issued by the Lord Chief Justice on 28th March 2019 and comes into force on 01 April 2019.
A new paragraph confirms the status and role of the Criminal Procedure Rules and the Criminal Practice Directions: ‘The Criminal Procedure Rules and the Criminal Practice Directions are the law. Together they provide a code of current practice that is binding on the courts…Participants must comply with the Rules and Practice Direction’.
Several changes have been made to ensure that appeals from the youth court in relation to sexual offences are dealt with by appropriately experienced judges. In appeals from the youth court which involve sexual offending a directions hearing will be required before the rehearing to consider special measures, ground rules and appropriate adjustments for the hearing of the trial.
The new amendment consolidates the existing case law and provides direction for the magistrates’ courts when dealing with applications to adjourn trial hearings, either on the day or trial or by way of an advance application to vacate.