Evaluating Private Prosecutions: Reform or Abolition?

Colman, Stephen (2023) Evaluating Private Prosecutions: Reform or Abolition? Criminal Law Review. ISSN 0011-135X (In Press)

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This article contributes to the ongoing debate as to the extent to which the right to bring a private prosecution should be reformed by arguing a case for abolition. The issue of private prosecutions has recently been brought to the foreground by a series of Court of Appeal decisions quashing the convictions of 59 sub-postmasters who were convicted in private prosecutions brought by the Post Office. The Criminal Cases Review Commission referred the first group of cases to the Court of Appeal, also triggering a review of the safeguards of private prosecutions by the House of Commons Justice Committee in 2020.

After a brief overview of the historical background and contemporary use of private prosecutions, the second part of this paper will focus on the need for an independent review of the case to protect the rights of the defendant. The third part will argue that private prosecutions conflict with the conceptual basis of the contemporary criminal justice system that criminal prosecutions are brought by the State. Finally, in the fourth part, the case for reform will be considered concluding that private prosecutions in their current form should be abolished.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: private prosecution, abolition, reform, Court of Appeal, Criminal Cases Review Commission
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Applied Social Sciences
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2023 09:34
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2023 09:34
URI: https://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3369

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