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Private prosecutions: safeguards

Inquiry

This inquiry will examine whether there are sufficient safeguards in place to limit the likelihood of injustices resulting from private prosecutions brought by organisations that act as the investigator and the prosecutor but are also the victim of the alleged offence.

The Justice Committee has set up this short inquiry following a request from the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). The CCRC asked, on 3 June, if the Committee would, following the referral of 47 Post Office Horizon cases for appeal, undertake a review of the “circumstances and safeguards where an organisation is allowed, as the Post Office was in these cases, to act a prosecutor when it is also the victim and the investigator of an alleged offence”.

The Committee will focus on the effectiveness of existing safeguards and the merits of additional safeguards that could be used to limit the potential for the right to bring private prosecutions by large organisation to cause miscarriages of justice.

The Committee will not be investigating individual cases, nor will it investigate Post Office and Horizon which is the subject of an ongoing inquiry by the Business, Energy Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee and a forthcoming independent review.

The deadline for written evidence is 23 July. If you wish to submit evidence after this date please contact the Committee by email: justicecom@parliament.uk