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Chapter 6: Scheduling

Preparation of schedules generally

6.1. The disclosure officer is responsible for preparing the schedules and submitting them to the prosecutor. The schedules, signed and dated by the disclosure officer, should be submitted to the prosecutor with a full file.

6.2. Where the disclosure officer is unsure whether an item is relevant to the investigation and should therefore be described on a schedule, the prosecutor should be consulted as soon as practicable.

6.3. In some cases there may be advantages in starting the schedule(s) at an early stage. The officer in charge of the investigation will need to consider at what stage the schedules should be prepared, and when to appoint a disclosure officer. It is not necessary to maintain schedule(s) of unused material from the start of all investigations. During the course of the investigation it may not be possible to decide whether particular material will eventually form part of the prosecution case, or will remain unused.

6.4. Where working schedules or draft lists have been created as the investigation progressed, the disclosure officer must check the contents and consolidate the items into two schedules for the prosecutor describing:

  • any non-sensitive unused material (MG6C)
  • any sensitive unused material (MG6D)

6.5. Draft schedules or lists used to prepare the final schedule need not be retained or described on the MG6C.

6.6. Any comments, observations or explanations regarding the contents of the schedules should be made on the MG6, which should accompany the submission of the MG6C and MG6D.

6.7. The disclosure officer must also indicate on the MG6 whether the investigation started on or after 4 April 2005. This will tell the prosecutor which provisions to apply in disclosing material to the accused. It will also inform the prosecutor of what obligations will apply to the accused.

6.8. All items of material relevant to the investigation must be described on one of the above schedules for the prosecutor.

Trials in the magistrates and youth courts

6.9. The time available for the investigator and the prosecutor to carry out their respective functions under the CPIA 1996 will be limited in these courts, particularly where the accused is in custody.

6.10. To make best use of available time, it is therefore essential that:

  • anticipated not guilty pleas are identified at an early stage so that the preparation of full files can start as soon as possible. The prosecutor should request a full file if appropriate on the form MG3
  • full files should be submitted on time, complete with the schedules and copies of any items that must be supplied to the prosecutor.

6.11. There is no requirement to provide schedules unless and until a not guilty plea is formally entered by the accused. However, as soon as the police receive notification of a not guilty plea in such cases, all appropriate disclosure schedules should be prepared and submitted to the prosecutor. This applies to all offences including minor traffic offences. Therefore, where no plea is entered in a motoring matter and it is listed to be proved in absence, there is no requirement for disclosure schedules.

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