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What We Do

Significant areas of the criminal law have been codified in a number of statutes in recent years, such as the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 and the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.

However, the law dealing with criminal offences remains vast and complex, contained in hundreds of years of statutes and court judgments, which are not always easily accessible.

The purpose of the codification project is to make the criminal law available in one easily accessible instrument.

Among the benefits of codification are:
  • the ease with which rules can be found in an area of law which impinges on every citizen;
  • the opportunity to make the law accessible and easily understood, and
  • the opportunity to eliminate obscurity, inefficiencies and lack of clarity.
Section 168 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 provides that the function of the Criminal Law Codification Advisory Committee is to oversee the development of a programme for the codification of the criminal law.

More specific functions of the Advisory Committee are:
    (a) to plan, monitor and review the implementation of a programme for the development of a criminal code (“the code”),

    (b) to advise and assist the Minister for Justice on consolidation of areas of criminal law for inclusion in the code,

    (c) to advise and assist the Minister in relation to the amendment and future maintenance of the code,

    (d) to undertake or commission, or collaborate or assist in, research projects relating to the codification of criminal law,

    (e) to consult, on any particular matter which the Committee considers relevant, persons qualified to give opinions thereon,

    (f) to monitor, review and advise and assist the Minister on international developments in the codification of criminal law in so far as they may be relevant to the development of the code,

    (g) to advise and assist the Minister on any other related issues, including issues submitted by the Minister to the Committee for consideration.

In this section, find out about:

Work Programme

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