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Disclosure Manual: Chapter 14 - Continuing Duty to Review Disclosure

Refreshed: 21 October 2021|Legal Guidance

Section 7A of the CPIA imposes a continuing duty upon the prosecutor to keep the question of disclosure under review. This duty arises after the prosecutor has complied with the duty to disclose, or purported to comply with it, and before the accused is acquitted or convicted or the prosecutor decides not to proceed with the case. If such material is identified, then the prosecutor must disclose it to the accused as soon as is reasonably practicable, subject to Public Interest Immunity considerations.

In particular, following the giving of a defence statement, the CPIA requires that the prosecutor keeps under review whether there is any prosecution material that satisfies the disclosure test. The actions and procedures required upon receipt of a defence statement are dealt with more fully in Chapter 15.

Sections 5 and 6 of the CPIA provide for a defence statement to be given when the prosecutor has complied/purported to comply with section 3, but progress can and should be made even where it is apparent that further prosecution disclosure might be required in the future (for further guidance see R v R and Others [2015] EWCA Crim 1941).

If any new material is obtained or generated after the schedules have been submitted by the investigator, the disclosure officer should submit a fresh schedule or a continuation sheet with material consecutively numbered together with an additional MG6E. The prosecutor should apply the same principles and follow the same process as before, ensuring letters are sent in a timely manner and update the Disclosure Record Sheet and DMD.

There may be further material, which may support or undermine the prosecution, in the hands of third parties. The police may seek advice on the need to obtain further material, even after a prosecution has reached the stage where there is a duty to disclose unused material to the defence. Further guidance on third parties generally can be found in Chapter 5 and Annex B. See also The Joint Protocol between the Crown Prosecution Service and the Police on dealing with third party material.

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