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Know About Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 icon

Know About Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

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The description of Know About Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) (1984 c. 60) is an Act of Parliament which instituted a legislative framework for the powers of police officers in England and Wales to combat crime, and provided codes of practice for the exercise of those powers.Part VI of PACE required the Home Secretary to issue Codes of Practice governing police powers. The aim of PACE is to establish a balance between the powers of the police in England and Wales and the rights and freedoms of the public.

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An Act of Parliament creates a new law or changes an existing law. An Act is a Bill that has been approved by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and been given Royal Assent by the Monarch.The Government are responsible for bringing new laws into force, once they has been passed by Parliament.
An Act may come into force immediately, on a specific future date, or in stages. You can find out when an Act is due to come into force by looking at a section of the Act itself, headed ‘Commencement’ – this is among the very last sections of an Act.
Sometimes a specific date is not given and the timing is left to the discretion of the Secretary of State for the relevant government department.

It is important to understand the difference between a policy and a law.

A policy outlines what a government ministry hopes to achieve and the methods and principles it will use to achieve them. It states the goals of the ministry. A policy document is not a law but it will often identify new laws needed to achieve its goals.
Laws set out standards, procedures and principles that must be followed. If a law is not followed, those responsible for breaking them can be prosecuted in court.
So, policy sets out the goals and planned activities of a ministry and department but it may be necessary to pass a law to enable government to put in place the necessary institutional and legal frameworks to achieve their aims. Laws must be guided by current government policy.

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