Criminal Investigations & Prosecutions Services

Criminal Investigations & Prosecutions

Private prosecutions

“They are fantastic – they are experts who are cerebral and think intellectually about issues.”

CHAMBERS UK 2021

Private prosecutions are increasing and are sometimes regarded as a more effective means of accessing justice than a claim brought in the civil courts.

Anyone who believes, for instance, that the police failed to properly investigate their complaint or the CPS lawyer decided not to prosecute for irrational reasons, has the ability to bring justice to the wrongdoer and have their allegation heard by a court. If, ultimately, the wrongdoer is convicted, like any criminal they stand to be punished which can include imprisonment. On the back of a conviction, ancillary financial orders can ensue such as compensation for the victim. A successful private prosecution of one accused can therefore send a strong signal and deter others or preventrepetition of the same behaviour.

A private prosecution can be used in conjunction with a civil claim. We work alongside civil litigators to ensure that the most effective process is given precedence at the appropriate time.

If the wrongdoer is outside the UK, that impediment to their prosecution can still be overcome. Their impunity can be attacked first by commencing the prosecution here and second, by persuading the CPS to seek their extradition back to the UK to facilitate the trial. The CPS may be willing to so assist in an appropriate case.

If you believe you are a victim of crime we will ensure that you will receive the best advice. We will either seek to persuade the police and CPS to use their powers on your behalf by presenting the evidence in a concise yet persuasive way; or we will provide you with the confidence and sure-footedness to launch your own prosecution which would result in the accused having to answer to it in court.

Alternatively, if you find yourself being proceeded against by a private prosecutor, we are able to rely on our expertise in criminal proceedings to explore all lines of defence. It is important when defending a private prosecution to focus on aspects of the case which are likely to be particularly vulnerable to attack and which may not be present in a prosecution by the State.

Cases