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Blackstone's Guide to the Criminal Justice Act 2003

Blackstone's Guide to the Criminal Justice Act 2003

This book analyses, explains, and evaluates the Government's flagship criminal justice legislation, the Criminal Justice Act 2003. It provides an accessible commentary on the wide ranging and complex changes introduced by the Act, which will leave few areas of the criminal justice system untouched. The Act starts with changes to police powers, bail, cautioning, and pre-trial disclosure, and moves on to the abolition of committal proceedings and the introduction of the possibility of trials on indictment without juries. It then goes on to provide for prosecution appeals and a broad range of offences where a trial following acquittal can exceptionally be allowed. The rules on evidence are significantly reformed providing firstly, a much wider basis on which evidence of bad character (including previous convictions) can be admitted, and secondly, for the admissibility of hearsay 'where it is not contrary to the interests of justice' to admit it. The Act also provides a major restatement and reform of the sentencing framework and the provisions for release on licence, and abolishes most of the categories of exemption from the duty to perform jury service.

Anyone working in the Criminal Justice System or interested in its operation will welcome this guide, which provides invaluable insights into the purposes of the Act and a detailed explanation of its provisions. The book also includes the full text of the Act. 
Richard Taylor, Martin Wasik, and Roger Leng
Published by
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
7 October 2004
720 pages
156 x 234 mm
Blackstone's Guides
Approx Weight
1.02 kg
HS Code

  1. Police powers
  2. Bail, cautions, and charging
  3. Disclosure pre-trial
  4. Juries, and trials on indictment without juries
  5. Allocation and transfer of either way cases and live links
  6. Prosecution appeals against judges' rulings
  7. Double jeopardy
  8. Evidence of bad character
  9. Hearsay
  10. General sentencing provisions
  11. Sentencing guidelines and standards
  12. Non-custodial orders
  13. Custodial sentences of less than 12 months
  14. Dangerous offenders
  15. Release on licence
Appendix: Text of the Criminal Justice Act 2003