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Perverting the course of justice is an English common law crime.
A witness who tells the court something which s/he believes to be untrue – even if it later emerges to be true after all – is still guilty of perjury.
The course of justice can also be perverted where a solicitor or legal representative knowingly assists a client in deceiving the police.
Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, Section 51 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 01 September 2019.
There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date.
Under s 1(1) of the Perjury Act 1911, this is when ‘a lawfully sworn witness or interpreter in judicial proceedings wilfully makes a false statement which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, and which is material in the proceedings’.