Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996

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Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996
Long titleAn Act to make provision about criminal procedure and criminal investigations.
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from
Revised text of statute as amended

The Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 is a piece of statutory legislation in the United Kingdom that regulates the procedures of investigating and prosecution of criminal offences.


Part I: Disclosure[edit]

Following a section of introductory text, the act outlines the relevance of its content in the first section to persons charged with a summary offence, indictable offence or one that is triable either way, as well as the criminal investigation into such an offence and as to whether such a person should be charged with the offence or found guilty of it once charged.[1] It details the procedures for disclosure and continued disclosure by the prosecution to the defence any information "which is in the prosecutor’s possession, and came into his possession in connection with the case for the prosecution against the accused."[1] It also defines a defence statement, defence witnesses and the means by which they should be interviewed, and confidentiality of disclosed information, and other statutory and common law rules of a court.[1]

Part II: Criminal Investigations[edit]

The second part of the act defines a criminal investigation as "an investigation conducted by police officers with a view to it being ascertained whether a person should be charged with an offence, or whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it." It outlines the codes of practice for any investigation set out by the Secretary of State and the means by which such a code could be revised.[2]

Part III: Preparatory Hearings[edit]

Part IV: Rulings[edit]

Part V: Committal, Transfer etc.[edit]

Part VI: Magistrates' Court[edit]

Part VII: Miscellaneous and General (chapter 54 to 81)[edit]

Section 54[edit]

Section 54 of the act includes the follow administration of justice offences:


Environmental protesters charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass[edit]

In 2009, twenty six environmental protesters were pre-emptively arrested and later charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass. It was claimed that Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station was the intended target. In 2011, their cases were quashed when it was revealed police withheld recordings made by undercover police officer Mark Kennedy. Non-disclosure to the Crown Prosecution Service and defence teams is a breach of the act.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b c "Part I: Disclosure". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Part II: Criminal Investigations". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  3. ^ section 54(6)
  4. ^ GRAHAM, CAROLINE. "'I'm the victim of smears': Undercover policeman denies bedding a string of women during his eight years with eco-warriors". Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Power station activists win appeal over missing police spy's tapes". The Guardian. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.