Obtaining third-party disclosure in criminal proceedings
Produced in partnership with David McNeill of 5 St Andrew's Hill
Obtaining third-party disclosure in criminal proceedings

The following Corporate Crime practice note Produced in partnership with David McNeill of 5 St Andrew's Hill provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Obtaining third-party disclosure in criminal proceedings
  • Identifying and requesting disclosable material held by a third party
  • Obtaining disclosure from third party public bodies
  • Requests to third parties who are not public bodies
  • Initiating investigations by the prosecution of third party material
  • Using the defence case statement to initiate enquiries
  • Utilising the PTPH form to initiate enquiries
  • Prosecution duties and third party material
  • Prosecution duties where material held by public bodies
  • Prosecution applications to withhold disclosure of third-party material on public interest grounds
  • More...

STOP PRESS: The revised editions of the Attorney General's Guidelines on Disclosure and the Criminal Proceedings and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA 1996) Code of Practice are now in force and this Practice Note is in the process of being updated to reflect this development. The Attorney General's Guidelines on Disclosure 2020 can be accessed here and the CPIA 1996 Code of Practice 2020 can be accessed here.

The prosecution’s duty of disclosure in criminal proceedings is governed by the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA 1996), which provides a duty of primary and ongoing disclosure in respect of material which might reasonably be considered capable of undermining the case for the prosecution against the accused or of assisting the case for the accused. For more information, see Practice Note: Obtaining disclosure of unused evidence.

CPIA 1996 is silent as to disclosure obligations of third parties. The CPIA 1996 and the accompanying CPIA Code of Practice are not directed to creating duties for third parties to follow.

Pursuant to CPIA 1996, ss 3(2) and 7A(6), the prosecution is not obliged to disclose material it does not have in its possession in connection with the case against the defendant, nor material not inspected in connection with the case.

However, this does not mean that this material is beyond the reach of defendants, who have three courses of action

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