Criminal Justice Act 1988

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The Criminal Justice Act 1988[1]
Citation1988 c 33
Royal assent29 July 1988
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (c 33) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.


The title of this Act is:

An Act to make fresh provision for extradition; to amend the rules of evidence in criminal proceedings; to provide for the reference by the Attorney General of certain questions relating to sentencing to the Court of Appeal; to amend the law with regard to the jurisdiction and powers of criminal courts, the collection, enforcement and remission of fines imposed by coroners, juries, supervision orders, the detention of children and young persons, probation and the probation service, criminal appeals, anonymity in cases of rape and similar cases, orders under sections 4 and 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 relating to trials on indictment, orders restricting the access of the public to the whole or any part of a trial on indictment or to any proceedings ancillary to such a trial and orders restricting the publication of any report of the whole or any part of a trial on indictment or any such ancillary proceedings, the alteration of names of petty sessions areas, officers of inner London magistrates’ courts and the costs and expenses of prosecution witnesses and certain other persons; to make fresh provision for the payment of compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board; to make provision for the payment of compensation for a miscarriage of justice which has resulted in a wrongful conviction; to create an offence of torture and an offence of having an article with a blade or point in a public place; to create further offences relating to weapons; to create a summary offence of possession of an indecent photograph of a child; to amend the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 in relation to searches, computer data about fingerprints and bail for persons in customs detention; to make provision in relation to the taking of body samples by the police in Northern Ireland; to amend the Bail Act 1976; to give a justice of the peace power to authorise entry and search of premises for offensive weapons; to provide for the enforcement of the Video Recordings Act 1984 by officers of a weights and measures authority and in Northern Ireland by officers of the Department of Economic Development; to extend to the purchase of easements and other rights over land the power to purchase land conferred on the Secretary of State by section 36 of the Prison Act 1952; and for connected purposes.

Section 141 - Prohibition of offensive weapons[edit]

This section creates an offence of manufacturing, distributing and importing offensive weapons, but does not itself define which weapons it applies to, other than excluding firearms and crossbows. Subsection 141(2) allows a statutory instrument to define them; one such order is the Criminal Justice Act 1998 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988. In August 2016, an amendment to this order came into force to include zombie knives in the list of prohibited weapons.[2]

Section 171 - Commencement[edit]

The power conferred by section 171(1) has been exercised by the following orders:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title is authorised by section 173 of this Act.
  2. ^

External links[edit]