There will emerge a theme running through what I want to suggest this morning and I begin by underlining the importance and the usefulness of the Criminal Procedure Rules, which by statute must be “simple and simply expressed”
Despite some technological glitches s.28 is set to feature across the jurisdiction. The senior judiciary has always recognised its value (to take one example, the guilty plea rate has gone up for sexual offences against young children where consent is no defence) but we are realists. For success, technology must support the system and cope with the demands.
We’ve looked together at the stormclouds gathering over Grounds of Appeal which are too long, rambling, waffling, warbling, all four, and/or which otherwise disappoint. What’s the best control mechanism? Is it tough Criminal Procedure Rule vocabulary? Is it a Court of Appeal Criminal Division judgment or three, from the top, reiterating disapprobation? Is it a Criminal Practice Direction in firm tones? All the above?