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PROSECUTION OF OFFENCES ACT 1985

UK Public General Acts

Version 01/10/2007

1985 CHAPTER 23

Default Geographical Extent: E+W


  • Part I. The Crown Prosecution Service
    • Constitution and functions of Service
    • Reports
    • Guidelines
    • Transfer of staff, etc.
    • Miscellaneous
  • Part II. Costs in Criminal Cases
    • Award of costs out of central funds
    • Award of costs against accused
    • Other awards
    • Supplemental
  • Part III. Miscellaneous
  • Part IV. Supplemental
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Introductory Text

Prosecution of Offences Act 1985

1985 CHAPTER 23

F1An Act to provide for the establishment of a Crown Prosecution Service for England and Wales; to make provision as to costs in criminal cases; to provide for the imposition of time limits in relation to preliminary stages of criminal proceedings; to amend section 42 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 and section 3 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969; to make provision with respect to consents to prosecutions; to repeal section 9 of the Perjury Act 1911; and for connected purposes.

[23rd May 1985]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1 Act: for the words "Supreme Court Act 1981" wherever they occur there is substituted (prosp.) the words "Senior Courts Act 1981" by virtue of Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 4), ss. 59, 148(1), Sch. 11 para. 1(2) [Editorial Note: this amendment will be carried through into the text of the Act at the same time as any other effects on the Act for the year in which the relevant commencement order (or first such order) is made]

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1 By Criminal Justice Act 1991 (c.53, SIF 39:1), s. 101(1), Sch. 12 para. 23; S.I. 1991/2208, art. 2(1), Sch. 1 it is provided (14.10.1991) that in relation to any time before the commencement of s. 70 of that 1991 Act (which came into force on 1.10.1992 by S.I. 1992/333, art. 2(2), Sch. 2) references in any enactment amended by that 1991 Act, to youth courts shall be construed as references to juvenile courts.


Part I
The Crown Prosecution Service



Constitution and functions of Service


1 The Crown Prosecution Service.

(1) There shall be a prosecuting service for England and Wales (to be known as the “Crown Prosecution Service ”) consisting of—

(a) the Director of Public Prosecutions, who shall be head of the Service;
(b) the Chief Crown Prosecutors, designated under subsection (4) below, each of whom shall be the member of the Service responsible to the Director for supervising the operation of the Service in his area; and
(c) the other staff appointed by the Director under this section.
(2) The Director shall appoint such staff for the Service as, with the approval of the Treasury as to numbers, remuneration and other terms and conditions of service, he considers necessary for the discharge of his functions.

(3) The Director may designate any member of the Service [F2 who has a general qualification (within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990) ] for the purposes of this subsection, and any person so designated shall be known as a Crown Prosecutor.

(4) The Director shall divide England and Wales into areas and, for each of those areas, designate a Crown Prosecutor for the purposes of this subsection and any person so designated shall be known as a Chief Crown Prosecutor.

(5) The Director may, from time to time, vary the division of England and Wales made for the purposes of subsection (4) above.

(6) Without prejudice to any functions which may have been assigned to him in his capacity as a member of the Service, every Crown Prosecutor shall have all the powers of the Director as to the institution and conduct of proceedings but shall exercise those powers under the direction of the Director.

(7) Where any enactment (whenever passed) —

(a) prevents any step from being taken without the consent of the Director or without his consent or the consent of another; or
(b) requires any step to be taken by or in relation to the Director;
any consent given by or, as the case may be, taken by or in relation to, a Crown Prosecutor shall be treated, for the purposes of that enactment, as given by or, as the case may be, taken by or in relation to the Director.
Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F2 Words substituted by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 71(2), Sch. 10 para. 61(1)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2 S. 1(7) excluded (4.4.2005) by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. 92(1), 336; S.I. 2005/950, art. 2(1), Sch. 1 para. 5 (subject to art. 2(2), Sch. 2) (as amended by 2005/2122, art. 2 and 2007/391, art. 2)


2 The Director of Public Prosecutions

(1) The Director of Public Prosecutions shall be appointed by the Attorney General.

(2) The Director must be a [F3 person who has a ten year general qualification, within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990] .

(3) There shall be paid to the Director such remuneration as the Attorney General may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F3 Words substituted by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 71(2), Sch. 10 para. 60


3 Functions of the Director.

(1) The Director shall discharge his functions under this or any other enactment under the superintendence of the Attorney General.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Director [F4 , subject to any provisions contained in the Criminal Justice Act 1987]

(a) to take over the conduct of all criminal proceedings, other than specified proceedings, instituted on behalf of a police force (whether by a member of that force or by any other person) ;
[F5 (aa) to take over the conduct of any criminal proceedings instituted by an immigration officer (as defined for the purposes of the M1 Immigration Act 1971) acting in his capacity as such an officer;]
(b) to institute and have the conduct of criminal proceedings in any case where it appears to him that—
(i) the importance or difficulty of the case makes it appropriate that proceedings should be instituted by him; or
(ii) it is otherwise appropriate for proceedings to be instituted by him;
[F6 (ba) to institute and have the conduct of any criminal proceedings in any case where the proceedings relate to the subject-matter of a report a copy of which has been sent to him under paragraph 23 or 24 of Schedule 3 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (c. 30) (reports on investigations into conduct of persons serving with the police) ;]
(c) to take over the conduct of all binding over proceedings instituted on behalf of a police force (whether by a member of that force or by any other person) ;
(d) to take over the conduct of all proceedings begun by summons issued under section 3 of the M2 Obscene Publications Act 1959 (forfeiture of obscene articles) ;
(e) to give, to such extent as he considers appropriate, advice to police forces on all matters relating to criminal offences;
[F7 (ea) to have the conduct of any extradition proceedings;
(eb) to give, to such extent as he considers appropriate, and to such persons as he considers appropriate, advice on any matters relating to extradition proceedings or proposed extradition proceedings;
[F8 (ec) to give, to such extent as he considers appropriate, advice to immigration officers on matters relating to criminal offences;] ]
(f) to appear for the prosecution, when directed by the court to do so, on any appeal under—
(i) section 1 of the M3 Administration of Justice Act 1960 (appeal from the High Court in criminal cases) ;
(ii) Part I or Part II of the M4 Criminal Appeal Act 1968 (appeals from the Crown Court to the criminal division of the Court of Appeal and thence to the House of Lords) ; or
(iii) section 108 of the M5 Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (right of appeal to Crown Court) as it applies, by virtue of subsection (5) of section 12 of the M6 Contempt of Court Act 1981, to orders made under section 12 (contempt of magistrates’ courts) ; F9 . . .
[F10 (fa) to have the conduct of applications for orders under section 1C of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (orders made on conviction of certain offences) and section 14A of the Football Spectators Act 1989 (banning orders made on conviction of certain offences) ;]
[F11 (faa) where it appears to him appropriate to do so, to have the conduct of applications made by him for orders under section 14B of the Football Spectators Act 1989 (banning orders made on complaint) ;]
[F12 (fb) where it appears to him appropriate to do so, to have the conduct of applications under section 1CA(3) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 for the variation or discharge of orders made under section 1C of that Act;
(fc) where it appears to him appropriate to do so, to appear on any application under section 1CA of that Act made by a person subject to an order under section 1C of that Act for the variation or discharge of the order.]
(g) to discharge such other functions as may from time to time be assigned to him by the Attorney General in pursuance of this paragraph.
[F13 (2A) Subsection (2) (ea) above does not require the Director to have the conduct of any extradition proceedings in respect of a person if he has received a request not to do so and—

(a) in a case where the proceedings are under Part 1 of the Extradition Act 2003, the request is made by the authority which issued the Part 1 warrant in respect of the person;
(b) in a case where the proceedings are under Part 2 of that Act, the request is made on behalf of the territory to which the person’s extradition has been requested.]
(3) In this section— “the court ” means—

(a) in the case of an appeal to or from the criminal division of the Court of Appeal, that division;
(b) in the case of an appeal from a Divisional Court of the Queen’s Bench Division, the Divisional Court; and
(c) in the case of an appeal against an order of a magistrates’ court, the Crown Court; “police force ” means any police force maintained by a police authority under [F14 the M7 Police Act 1996] . . . and any other body of constables for the time being specified by order made by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section; and “specified proceedings ” means proceedings which fall within any category for the time being specified by order made by the Attorney General for the purposes of this section.
(4) The power to make orders under subsection (3) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F4 Words inserted by Criminal Justice Act 1987 (c. 38, SIF 39:1), s. 15, Sch. 2 para. 13

F5 S. 3(2)(aa) inserted (1.12.2004) by 1999 c. 33, ss. 164, 170(4); S.I. 2004/2997, art. 2

F6 S. 3(2)(ba) inserted (1.4.2004) by Police Reform Act 2002 (c. 30) ss. 107, 108(2), {Sch. 7 para. 10}; S.I. 2004/913, art. 2(e)

F7 S. 3(2)(ea)(eb) inserted (1.1.2004) by Extradition Act 2003 (c. 41), ss. 190(2), 221; S.I. 2003/3103, art. 2 (subject to savings in Order (as amended by S.I. 2003/3312, art. 2(2) and S.I. 2003/3258, art. 3(2)))

F8 S. 3(2)(ec) inserted (1.12.2004) by Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 (c. 19), ss. 7, 48(1)-(3); S.I. 2004/2999, art. 2, Sch.

F9 Word in s. 3(2)(f) repealed (20.1.2004) by Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 (c. 38), ss. 86(6), 92, 93, Sch. 3; S.I. 2003/3300, art. 2(f)(ii)(g)(ii)(b)

F10 S. 3(2)(fa) inserted (20.1.2004) by Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 (c. 38). {ss. 86(6)}, 93; S.I. 2003/3300, art. 2(f)(ii)

F11 S. 3(2)(faa) inserted (6.4.2007) by Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (c. 38), ss. 52, 66(2), Sch. 3 para. 15; S.I. 2007/858, art. 2(k)

F12 S. 3(2)(fb)(fc) inserted (1.7.2005) by Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (c. 15), ss. 140(5), 178; S.I. 2005/1521, art. 3(s) (subject to art. 3(4)(5))

F13 S. 3(2A) inserted (1.1.2004) by Extradition Act 2003 (c. 41), ss. 190(3), 221; S.I. 2003/3103, art. 2 (subject to savings in Order (as amended by S.I. 2003/3312, art. 2(2) and S.I. 2003/3258, art. 3(2)))

F14 Words in the definition of "police force" in s. 3(3) substituted (22.8.1996) by 1996 c. 16, ss. 103, 104(1), Sch. 7 Pt. II para. 39

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C3 S. 3(2) excluded by Criminal Justice Act 1987 (c. 38, SIF 39:1), s. 5(1)

C4 S. 3(2)(a)(d) restricted by S.I. 1986/1029, art. 5

Marginal Citations

M1 1971 c. 77.

M2 1959 c. 66.

M3 1960 c. 65.

M4 1968 c. 19.

M5 1980 c. 43.

M6 1981 c. 49.

M7 1996 c. 16.


4 Crown Prosecutors.

F15 (1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F15 (2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F15 (3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F15 (3A). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F15 (3B). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F15 (3C). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F15 (3D). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F15 (3E). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4) In section 88 of the M8 Solicitors Act 1974 (which, amongst other things, provides that solicitors in public departments are not required to hold practising certificates) the following subsection shall be inserted after subsection (1) —

“(1A) The exemption from the requirement to hold a practising certificate conferred by subsection (1) above shall not apply to solicitors who are Crown Prosecutors.”
(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F16

(6) In Schedule 2 to the Act of 1974 (the compensation fund) , in paragraph 2, for the words “sub-paragraph (2) ” there shall be substituted the words “sub-paragraphs (2) and (2A) ” and after sub-paragraph (2) there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph—

“(2A) Sub-paragraph (1) above shall not apply to any solicitor who is a Crown Prosecutor.”
Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F15 S. 4(1)-(3E) repealed (31.7.2000) by 1999 c. 22, s. 106, Sch.15 Pt II (with Sch. 14 paras. 7(2), 36(9)); S.I. 2000/1920, art. 2(c)

F16 S. 4(5) repealed by Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 125(7), Sch. 20

Marginal Citations

M8 1974 c. 47.


5 Conduct of prosecutions on behalf of the Service.

(1) The Director may at any time appoint a person who is not a Crown Prosecutor but [F17 who has a general qualification (within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990) ] to institute or take over the conduct of such criminal proceedings [F18 or extradition proceedings] as the Director may assign to him.

(2) Any person conducting proceedings assigned to him under this section shall have all the powers of a Crown Prosecutor but shall exercise those powers subject to any instructions given to him by a Crown Prosecutor.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F17 Words substituted by virtue of Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41, SIF 37), s. 71(2), Sch. 10 para. 61(2) [Editorial Note: The amending legislation provides that the new words in s. 5(1) should be substituted for the words from "who is" to "authority". The words "who is" occur three times in s. 5(1) as enacted. It is thought that the context requires the substitution to begin with the second occurrence of those words.]

F18 Words in s. 5(1) inserted (1.1.2004) by Extradition Act 2003 (c. 41), ss. 190(4), 221; S.I. 2003/3103, art. 2 (subject to savings in Order (as amended by S.I. 2003/3312, art. 2(2) and S.I. 2003/3258, art. 3(2)))


6 Prosecutions instituted and conducted otherwise than by the Service.

(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, nothing in this Part shall preclude any person from instituting any criminal proceedings or conducting any criminal proceedings to which the Director’s duty to take over the conduct of proceedings does not apply.

(2) Where criminal proceedings are instituted in circumstances in which the Director is not under a duty to take over their conduct, he may nevertheless do so at any stage.

7 Delivery of recognizances etc. to Director.

(1) Where the Director or any Crown Prosecutor gives notice to any justice of the peace that he has instituted, or is conducting, any criminal proceedings, the justice shall—

(a) at the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner; or
(b) in a particular case, at the time and in the manner directed by the Attorney General;
send him every recognizance, information, certificate, deposition, document and thing connected with those proceedings which the justice is required by law to deliver to the appropriate officer of the Crown Court.
(2) The Attorney General may make regulations for the purpose of supplementing this section; and in subsection (1) above “prescribed ” means prescribed by the regulations.

(3) The Director or, as the case may be, Crown Prosecutor shall—

(a) subject to the regulations, cause anything which is sent to him under subsection (1) above to be delivered to the appropriate officer of the Crown Court; and
(b) be under the same obligation (on the same payment) to deliver to an applicant copies of anything so sent as that officer.
(4) It shall be the duty of [F19 the designated officer for every magistrates' court] to send to the Director, in accordance with the regulations, a copy of the information and of any depositions and other documents relating to any case in which—

(a) a prosecution for an offence before [F20 the magistrates' court] is withdrawn or is not proceeded with within a reasonable time;
(b) the Director does not have the conduct of the proceedings; and
(c) there is some ground for suspecting that there is no satisfactory reason for the withdrawal or failure to proceed.
Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F19 Words in s. 7(4) substituted (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 109(1), 110, Sch. 8 para. 287(a); S.I. 2005/910, art. 3(y)

F20 Words in s. 7(4) substituted (1.4.2005) by Courts Act 2003 (c. 39), ss. 109(1), 110, Sch. 8 para. 287(b); S.I. 2005/910, art. 3(y)


[F21 7A Powers of non-legal staff.

(1) The Director may designate, for the purposes of this section, members of the staff of the Crown Prosecution Service who are not Crown Prosecutors.

(2) Subject to such exceptions (if any) as may be specified in the designation, a person so designated shall have such of the following as may be so specified, namely—

(a) the powers and rights of audience of a Crown Prosecutor in relation to—
(i) applications for, or relating to, bail in criminal proceedings;
(ii) the conduct of criminal proceedings in magistrates’ courts other than trials;
(b) the powers of such a Prosecutor in relation to the conduct of criminal proceedings not falling within paragraph (a) (ii) above.
(3) A person so designated shall exercise any such powers subject to instructions given to him by the Director.

(4) Any such instructions may be given so as to apply generally.

(5) For the purposes of this section—

(a) “bail in criminal proceedings ” has the same meaning as it would have in the M9 Bail Act 1976 by virtue of the definition in section 1 of that Act if in that section “offence ” did not include an offence to which subsection (6) below applies;
(b) “criminal proceedings ” does not include proceedings for an offence to which subsection (6) below applies; and
(c) a trial begins with the opening of the prosecution case after the entry of a plea of not guilty and ends with the conviction or acquittal of the accused.
[F22 (6) This section applies to an offence if it is triable only on indictment or is an offence for which the accused has been sent for trial.]

(7) Details of the following for any year, namely—

(a) the criteria applied by the Director in determining whether to designate persons under this section;
(b) the training undergone by persons so designated; and
(c) any general instructions given by the Director under subsection (4) above,
shall be set out in the Director’s report under section 9 of this Act for that year.]
Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F21 S. 7A substituted (30.9.1998) by 1998 c. 37, s.53; S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1)(n).

F22 S. 7A(6) substituted (9.5.2005 for certain purposes and otherwise prosp.) by Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), ss. 41, 336, Sch. 3 para. 57(2); S.I. 2005/1267, art. 2, Sch. Pt. 1

Marginal Citations

M9 1976 c.63.


Reports


8 Reports to Director by chief officers of police.

(1) The Attorney General may make regulations requiring the chief officer of any police force to which the regulations are expressed to apply to give to the Director information with respect to every offence of a kind prescribed by the regulations which is alleged to have been committed in his area and in respect of which it appears to him that there is a prima facie case for proceedings.

(2) The regulations may also require every such chief officer to give to the Director such information as the Director may require with respect to such cases or classes of case as he may from time to time specify.

9 Reports by Director to Attorney General.

(1) As soon as practicable after 4th April in any year the Director shall make to the Attorney General a report on the discharge of his functions during the year ending with that date.

(2) The Attorney General shall lay before Parliament a copy of every report received by him under subsection (1) above and shall cause every such report to be published.

(3) The Director shall, at the request of the Attorney General, report to him on such matters as the Attorney General may specify.

Guidelines