Private prosecutions

6 November 2020

Mythbusting: Recovery of Costs in Private Prosecutions

Private prosecutions provide an effective way to seek justice; and particularly in circumstances when the traditional prosecuting agencies are unable or unwilling to act.   Conducted appropriately they can be a useful, efficient and cost-effective tool to secure punishment of the guilty.  Conducted badly they can be an expensive mistake with far reaching consequences. 

In this blog series we draw on our experience of both bringing and defending private prosecutions to help clarify some of the common myths and misunderstandings about private prosecutions.  In this blog we look at whether the private prosecutor is entitled to recover their full investigation and legal fees at the end of the case.

Melinka Berridge

5 October 2020

Best practice for organisations using private prosecution powers

The House of Commons Justice Committee has made a series of recommendations in its report published today which are likely to have a significant impact on the future of private prosecutions in England and Wales. 

Melinka Berridge

20 May 2020

Victims’ Right to Review Scheme: does a victim have a right to make representation?

A victim has a right to request review of a decision not to prosecute or to discontinue a prosecution, but do they have a right to make representations?

Sophie Bolzonello

30 April 2020

Best practice guide for charities conducting private prosecutions

The Charities Commission has recently warned that fraudsters are exploiting the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to carry out fraud and cybercrime against charities.  Unfortunately, in our experience, the likelihood of the police taking action against these individuals is low. In the current climate it is easy to understand why the use of private prosecutions is firmly on the rise. In the past, some charities have been criticised for having an overzealous approach to the conduct of their private prosecutions.  In this blog, we highlight the importance of taking a few simple steps to ensure that charities who conduct private prosecutions are beyond reproach.

Melinka Berridge

19 July 2019

Failure to act as a ‘Minister of Justice’ will have costs implications for the private prosecutor

A private prosecutor and the lawyers who act on their behalf must meet the same high standards of conduct expected of a public prosecutor. The High Court has recently handed down judgement in a case where the issue of the objectivity of the private prosecutor was subject to scrutiny.  The case is a salutary reminder to the putative private prosecutor of the benefits of taking independent legal advice on the merits of their case before commencing proceedings.

Shannett Thompson

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