The Appellant contends that proceedings cannot be "issued" unless and until the relevant document (the written charge) "is in the public domain at least to the extent that it has left the relevant prosecutor's office". The Respondent argues that the only way in which to make sense of the wording of [section 29 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 ["the 2003 Act"]] is to interpret the word "issuing" as meaning what happens when the written charge is produced by the prosecutor in a form that is ready for service.
In my view, the written charge can be regarded as issued only when the document comprising the written charge is completed, with all relevant details and in the form needed for service. Provided that is done within six months of the relevant offence, the written charge will have been issued in time.
It should be noted that, if following issue in time, there is an inordinate or unwarranted or unjustified but significant delay before such a written charge is served, that should not and cannot go without remedy. The remedy is abuse of process.