Related Sector: Investigations
Case file preparation in accordance with the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA) can be a complex and time consuming task for many investigators.
Organisations involved in regulation, investigation and prosecution of offenders are required to submit their files in line with CPIA. Those not legally bound by this legislation are recommended to follow the process as a best practice.
Prosecuting lawyers reviewing files of evidence require:
- Attention to detail
- Continuity in the evidential trail
Prosecutors must have sight of all the evidence in the case along with all the unused and sensitive material in order to make informed disclosure decisions and successfully achieve positive outcomes at court.
Failure to submit case papers properly may result in evidence being ruled inadmissible or unreliable. This could adversely affect the fairness of any future legal proceedings.
Jim Sullivan, Bond Solon’s lead disclosure trainer, has put together some top tips for compiling professional legal case files.
Tip 1: Develop an understanding of all the relevant legal issues, including the 2015 legislative changes (in particular see paragraph 6.3) which allows for the lawful submission of expedited or reduced files provided certain conditions are met.
Tip 2: Identify the specific type of file required and construct it so that it is ‘user friendly’ to prosecution lawyers and all other supporting court staff.
Tip 3: Thoroughly review and proof read your file using objective assessment criteria before you release it to the prosecutor.
Tip 4: Ensure that the case file you submit will withstand scrutiny in the highest legal environments.
Tip 5: Conduct your disclosure in a logical focused way, tailored to your specific investigation, thus avoiding a time consuming open-ended trawl of irrelevant unused material.
Bond Solon’s next Case File Preparation & Disclosure course is running on the 6th and 7th June 2018 in central London. For further information or to make a booking please visit our website or call 020 7549 2549.
This article was first published on 22nd November 2016.
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