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Disclosure Manual: Chapter 7 - The Non-Sensitive Material Schedule

Refreshed: 21 October 2021|Legal Guidance

For cases in the Crown Court, non-sensitive unused material should be described on the MG6C. This form will be disclosed to the defence. Where continuation sheets are used, or additional schedules sent in later submissions, item numbering must be consecutive to all items on earlier schedules. A further form on an MG6E indicating whether anything now falls to be disclosed should accompany an additional schedule.

In the description column of every schedule, each item should be individually described and consecutively numbered. The schedule must be a clear record of the nature of the item and should contain sufficient detail to enable the prosecutor to decide whether they need to inspect the material before deciding whether or not it should be disclosed. The schedule must also demonstrate a transparent and thinking approach to the disclosure exercise. It is not sufficient merely to refer to a document by way of a form number. Although excessive detail should be avoided, descriptions should be meaningful and sufficient to allow a prosecutor to discharge their disclosure obligations. Abbreviations and acronyms should be avoided as they risk significant material being overlooked.

Where appropriate, use should be made of the block listing provisions in para 6.10 of the Code and para 50 in Annex A of the Attorney General's Guidelines, in particular when dealing with large volumes of electronic material or in cases where there are many items of a similar or repetitive nature. It is permissible to describe them by quantity and generic title, however, inappropriate use of generic listing is likely to lead to requests from the prosecutor and the defence to see the items, which may result in wasted resources and unnecessary delay. The preparation of properly detailed schedules at this stage will save time and resources and will promote confidence in its integrity. When items are described generically, the disclosure officer must ensure that the search terms used and any items which might meet the disclosure test are listed and described separately.

Where relevant unused material has been omitted from the schedule or where material is not described sufficiently, and the prosecutor asks the disclosure officer to rectify the schedule, the disclosure officer must comply with this request in a timely manner.

Draft schedules or lists used to prepare the final schedule need not be retained or described. However, the disclosure officer must check the contents and consolidate the items into two schedules for the prosecutor (MG6C & MG6D).

The disclosure officer should keep a copy of the schedules that are sent to the prosecutor, in case there are any queries that need to be resolved and to assist him/her to keep track of the items listed should the schedules need to be updated.

Sometimes documents that fall to be disclosed may contain a mixture of sensitive and non-sensitive material. In these cases, there may be no objection to the sensitive part being permanently redacted on the copy document which is to be sent to the prosecutor. The original should not be marked in any way. The redacted document should be described on the MG6C (provided that the revelation of the existence of the document itself is not sensitive) and the unredacted document should be described on the MG6D. The prosecutor should be informed of the nature of the edited material, if not obvious, on the MG6.

The disclosure officer should edit out issues of sensitivity on material that is routinely revealed as well as irrelevant personal, confidential information. The responsibility to edit rests with the investigator, but the prosecutor should be consulted where editing or separating is other than straightforward.

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