This page first published 1 October 2011
Criminal Practice Directions
Criminal Practice Directions are handed down from time to time by the Lord Chief Justice and they apply in all criminal courts in England and Wales.
This is a consolidation, with some amendments, of existing Practice Directions, Practice Statements and Practice Notes as they affect proceedings in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), the Crown Court and magistrates' courts. There is a separate Practice Direction about Costs in Criminal Proceedings, which can be viewed at the bottom of this page.
Refreshed presentation of the Consolidated Criminal Practice Direction
The Consolidated Criminal Practice Direction (CCPD) is now available as one indexed file, in Acrobat format. This edition includes references to The Criminal Procedure Rules 2011, which came into force on 3 October 2011. The references to the Rules are highlighted as being 'Updates as at October 2011'.
The individual Parts of the Practice Direction and the Annexes continue to appear in the table at the top of this page.
Legal expressions used in The Criminal Procedure Rules 2011 and in the Consolidated Criminal Practice Direction. This cross-referencing document shows where terms set out in the Criminal Procedure Rules' Glossary can be found in the Practice Direction.
Notes about the Consolidated Criminal Practice Direction
The following Practice Directions are included by way of cross-reference only:
1. The Practice Direction relating to References to the European Court of Justice by the Court of Appeal and the High Court under Article 177 of the European Communities Treaty  1 WLR 260;  1 Cr App R 452.
2. The Practice Direction relating to Devolution Issues  1 WLR 1592;  3 All ER 466;  2 Cr App R 486.
3. The Practice Direction (Court of Appeal (Civil Division))  1 WLR 1027;  2 All ER 490, paragraph 9 (relating to the availability of judgments given in the Court of Appeal and the High Court) and paragraph 10.1 (relating to the citation of judgments in court).
Guidelines issued by the Attorney General are not included.
Also excluded is the guidance given by the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) in C v S (Money Laundering: Discovery of Documents)(Practice Direction)  1 WLR 1551, which deals with the conflict which can arise between the interests of the state in combating crime on the one hand and, on the other hand, the entitlement of private bodies to obtain redress from the courts and the principles that justice should be administered in public and that a party should know the case advanced against him, should have the opportunity to reply to it and should know the reasons for the decision of the court. Though arising from crime, this was civil litigation.
Reference should also be made to the following Civil Procedure Practice Directions:
1. Such parts of the Practice Direction – Addition and Substitution of Parties, supplementary to CPR Part 19, as may apply where a defendant makes a claim for a declaration of incompatibility in accordance with section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
2. The Practice Direction – Court Sittings, supplementary to CPR Part 39.
This consolidation is not a comprehensive statement of the practice and procedure of the criminal courts. For this reference must be made to the relevant Acts and Rules to which this Direction is supplementary and to the Attorney General’s guidelines.
A list of the Practice Directions which are consolidated for the purpose of criminal proceedings is at Appendix A. Where appropriate, these Practice Directions have been brought up to date. Any changes were of a relatively minor nature.
The consolidation does not affect proceedings in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) or in any division of the High Court. So, for example, in the Family Division, reference should still be made to such directions, etc as affect proceedings there. Some criminal cases come before the Administrative Court. These form a small part of the work of that court and are not affected by this consolidation. The Administrative Court Office has a list of the relatively few Practice Directions which apply there.
NOTE: Throughout this document words connoting the masculine include the feminine.
Practice Direction: Costs in Criminal Proceedings
The Lord Chief Justice handed down a replacement Practice Direction about Costs in Criminal Proceedings, on 30 July 2010.