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Out Of Print May 2008
The Criminal Justice Act 2003, due to receive Royal Assent in November, promises to be one of the most significant pieces of criminal legislation for many years. It contains a number of highly controversial measures which have received widespread criticism, but also many important provisions which have broad support.
The Act, if passed in its current form, will make many changes to various aspects of the criminal justice system including: - increased rights of appeal by the prosecution and exceptions to the double jeopardy rule for serious cases - greater obligations to disclose details of a defendant's case - increase in police powers to impose conditions on bail, the extension of prosecution rights of appeal against bail as well as the introduction of conditional cautions - major changes to the rules of evidence relating to previous convictions and hearsay - significant changes to sentencing powers, including greater powers for magistrates and progressively more severe penalties for persistent offenders - the strengthening of police powers under PACE, and the extension of drug testing and treatment provision