Voluntary bill of indictment
Voluntary bill of indictment

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Voluntary bill of indictment
  • Voluntary bill of indictment
  • Procedure for obtaining a voluntary bill under the AJ(MP)A 1933
  • Responding to an application for a voluntary bill under the AJ(MP)A 1933
  • When an application for a voluntary bill may be granted
  • Challenging the decision to issue a voluntary bill
  • Amending a voluntary bill

Voluntary bill of indictment

An indictment may, exceptionally, be preferred (ie served on a Crown Court) by the direction or with the consent of a High Court judge under the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1933 (AJ(MP)A 1933). This is also known as a 'voluntary bill'. A voluntary bill can only be preferred in certain limited circumstances:

  1. if the bill is preferred by the direction of the Court of Criminal Appeal or by the direction or with the consent of a judge of the High Court

  2. with the consent of a judge of the Crown Court following a declaration by the court under paragraph 8(1) of Schedule 17 to the Crime and Courts Act 2013 (CCA 2013) (court approval of deferred prosecution agreement)

  3. if the charge, or any of the charges, against the applicant is dismissed and

    1. no further proceedings may be brought on the dismissed charge or charges, except by means of the preferment of a voluntary bill, and

    2. unless the applicant is in custody otherwise than on the dismissed charge or charges, he shall be discharged

For more information, see Practice Notes: Deferred prosecution agreements and Application to dismiss.

Procedure for obtaining a voluntary bill under the AJ(MP)A 1933

The procedure for obtaining a voluntary bill was previously housed in the Indictments (Procedure) Rules 1971 (I(P)R 1971), SI 1971/2084 supplemented by the Criminal

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