HC Deb 07 October 2003 vol 411 c43W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has (a) to introduce a national protocol for the disclosure of third party material in criminal proceedings and (b) to implement Lord Justice Auld's recommendations on disclosure. [128355]

Paul Goggins:

Work on a model national protocol between the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), police and local authorities on the exchange of information in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases has been completed. I understand that the CPS Policy Directorate is hoping to issue the model protocol to local CPS areas, police and local authorities in the near future.

Sir Robin Auld's report of his Review of the Criminal Courts of England and Wales made a number of recommendations on the law on disclosure. The Government's response was published in the Annex to the White Paper, "Justice for All" (column 5563).

Sir Robin's recommendation that there should be a single disclosure test to replace the present two tests is included in the Criminal Justice Bill, currently being considered by the House of Lords. His other recommendations for improving prosecution disclosure were considered in the context of the joint CPS/Police disclosure project. Revised Joint Operational Instructions were issued to the police and CPS in December 2002 and became fully operational in June 2003. The Government is considering how best to take forward Sir Robin Auld's recommendation that consideration should be given to a new statutory scheme for third party disclosure, in the light of the work on the model protocol.