1. Abuse of process applications in the Crown Court are governed by Part 3 of the Criminal Procedure Rules and the Criminal Practice Directions (CPDI 3C) which provides a procedure for the defence to follow should it wish to raise an abuse of process argument.
2. The defence must give notice of the application to the prosecution and co-defendants not less than 14 days before the trial is fixed or warned. This notice must include the grounds upon which the application is made. Advocates must then serve skeleton arguments and documents/cases relied upon five clear working days in advance of the hearing (for the defence) and two clear working days in advance of the hearing (for the prosecution).
3. If the defence is considering arguing abuse of process at the time of the preliminary hearing or as soon as practicable after the case has been sent, it should inform the judge who may give directions and set down a different timetable to that outlined above.