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    Friday, 23 March 2007

    Home Office Review of PACE

    The Home Office has launched a wide-ranging review of policing powers, including those that permit the search and seize of journalistic material (including that held in confidence).

    Sections 9-14 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act detail a special procedure to be followed by police who want access to journalistic material. A judge has to be satisfied that an order should be made, and will consider matters such as whether the material would be admissible as evidence at a trial, would be of considerable value to the police investigation, and whether its disclosure would be in the public interest. These requirements have been interpreted by the courts so as to facilitate the police, arguably to the detriment of journalistic integrity.

    The review is being seen by industry bodies as an opportunity to seek the revision / clarification of the current rules.

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