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Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:52 pm
by BWH
Does anybody have knowledge of how those who pursue a private prosecution can obtain evidence from the police. Once a summons is granted to prosecute then are the police obliged to handover any relevant evidence? Can you interview people?

Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:26 pm
by Smouldering Stoat
A court may grant you a witness summons to obtain relevant evidence (and also to enable you to comply with your obligations to disclose evidence to the defence, including unused material). However, if you don't already have evidence sufficient to convince the CPS that there is a realistic prospect of prosecution, you are going to struggle to convince them not to take over the prosecution and and discontinue it.

Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:52 pm
by dls
. Once a summons is granted to prosecute then are the police obliged to handover any relevant evidence?

Not without a court order. Even then it could be severely limited, and by the time you have to ask, a view might be taken which will not be of assistance to you.

Can you interview people?

Yes, if they agree, but they have no duty to assist you.

Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:36 pm
by Spankymonkey
Smouldering Stoat wrote:A court may grant you a witness summons to obtain relevant evidence (and also to enable you to comply with your obligations to disclose evidence to the defence, including unused material). However, if you don't already have evidence sufficient to convince the CPS that there is a realistic prospect of prosecution, you are going to struggle to convince them not to take over the prosecution and and discontinue it.


A private prosecutor is not obliged to convince the CPS of anything, as the full code test does not apply to private prosecutions. Nor do CPS take over and discontinue PPs simply on the grounds that there is not a realistic prospect of a conviction (assuming that's what you meant, rather than 'prosecution'). There are plenty of prosecutions that have gone ahead that the CPS have declined to take over, simply because they believe both parties are suitably represented and evenly matched, that had little chance of success.

Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:56 pm
by dls
They might not use their power to use the modern equivalent of a nolle prosequi, but equally there is no duty to assist, and very probably a clear desire not to assist.