JUSTICE response to the Justice Committee’s Disclosure of Evidence in Criminal Cases Inquiry

On 6 June 2018, JUSTICE responded to the Justice Committee’s Disclosure of Evidence in Criminal Cases Inquiry. This inquiry aims to investigate disclosure procedures fully to ensure they are fit for purpose and that the steps proposed to address existing issues are sufficient to resolve them. The Committee’s findings will feed into the Attorney General’s ongoing review of disclosure.

Drawing on the recommendations of our Complex and Lengthy Criminal Trials report, we made a number of recommendations to include the disclosure process, including:

  • That as much disclosure as possible should be provided as early as possible, both pre-charge and pre-trial
  • That there should be a discrete disclosure training module for police officers
  • That there should be early engagement of both prosecutors and defence lawyers to help guide the disclosure strategy
  • That Disclosure Management Documents should be routinely used for all cases involving a significant amount of material
  • That a national evidence management system is developed that all police forces and law enforcement agencies use
  • That e-disclosure on the CJS Common Platform grants access to all parties of all relevant material, including unused material
  • That where there are disputes regarding disclosure, or in particularly complex cases, independent disclosure counsel should be used

Read our response here