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Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

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Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:26 pm

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.
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Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

Postby dls » Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:52 pm

. 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.
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Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

Postby Spankymonkey » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:36 pm

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.
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Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

Postby dls » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:56 pm

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.
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Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

Postby atticus » Wed May 17, 2017 9:27 am

A case such as you describe is never "fairly straightforward".
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Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

Postby dls » Wed May 17, 2017 11:44 am

ok relatively straight forward


Grossly optimistic
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Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

Postby dls » Wed May 17, 2017 2:22 pm

I would be planning with sufficient evidence for the CPS would be compelled to take it on


Private prosecutions are usually taken over in order to be dropped. See nolle prosequi

What force of nature would you think would be working to compel CPS to take it over and prosecute.
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Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

Postby Spankymonkey » Wed May 17, 2017 2:33 pm

dls wrote:
I would be planning with sufficient evidence for the CPS would be compelled to take it on


Private prosecutions are usually taken over in order to be dropped. See nolle prosequi

What force of nature would you think would be working to compel CPS to take it over and prosecute.


Agreed. But not something the CPS would readily admit. If they honestly thought your case didn't have a hope in hell, they would let you get on with it. A current private prosecution against police officers springs to mind...

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3404158/m ... -cover-up/
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Re: Power of a private Prosecutor to obtain evidence

Postby dls » Wed May 17, 2017 7:14 pm

If they honestly thought your case didn't have a hope in hell, they would let you get on with it.


No.
The principle used to be that, as a matter of course, almost any private prosecution which found its way to the Crown Court would be taken over and dropped.

That policy was relaxed some years ago, but the antipathy to private prosecutions remains. Among the criteria would be a respect for a valuable principle of not allowing a hopeless prosecution to go ahead. The proposed defendant has a right not to be troubled unnecessarily.
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