Section 58(8) of the 2003 Act obliges the prosecution to inform the court that the respondent should be acquitted of the offence in the event that leave to appeal is not obtained or the appeal is abandoned. It must do so at the same time or before it informs the court of its intention to appeal. This is generally referred to as "the acquittal undertaking" or, more accurately, the acquittal agreement. The prosecution notified the court of its intention to appeal and gave the acquittal agreement by email. The question arises whether that satisfied the statutory scheme, or whether the steps specified in the statutory scheme must take place in open court.
We consider that there is no impediment to the prosecution informing the court by email, with effect from the handing down of a ruling, of its intention to appeal; nor requesting an adjournment by email, if that is what it seeks. Indeed, a short adjournment pursuant to section 58(4) might well be agreed by the defendant without the need for attendance. Similarly, the court can be informed of the acquittal agreement by email. The judge remains in control of the proceedings and can convene any necessary further hearings.