CPD Hours Level
Seminar 6 IntroductionInformation
Accreditation Information
SRA Competency B
'Very knowledgeable, clearly very passionate!'
Mr Harper, Walker Morris LLP


Prosecuting privately is becoming a particularly common practice with advisors increasingly using criminal law to secure efficient and expedient results for their clients who have been victims of criminal activity. It is an increasing source of revenue for firms seeing a decline in defence work due to a failure to prosecute by the police or CPS.

Private prosecutions are becoming common practice in intellectual property and white-collar fraud offences. But equally, private individuals who are turned away by the police are increasingly seeking a remedy this way. Campaigners and protestors are also resorting to private prosecutions where the State has failed to intervene.

This introductory course will consider how to begin a case, the steps to trial, relevant case law and procedure. It is designed for barristers, solicitors and legal executives who are instructed to consider commencing a private prosecution where attempts to persuade the police or other investigators have failed or where the CPS have declined to proceed. Alternatively, it may be obvious from the outset that the case is too big or complex for the usual authorities to take on.

Of particular importance since R (Kay) v Leeds MC [2018] is the duty of candour upon private prosecutors and the new CPR 7 on commencing private prosecutions. The trend is very much for defendants to challenge the issuing of summonses in these circumstances and for courts to become more circumspect when considering whether to issue such a summons.

The course will look at the benefits of a private prosecution including ancillary orders such as confiscation as opposed to usual civil remedies.

What You Will Learn

This course will cover the following:

  • Who can prosecute privately?
  • Investigating offences - joint police /private investigations
  • Investigations offences - powers of private prosecutors
  • Victims and witnesses rights' against the police and state prosecutors
  • Issuing proceedings
  • CPS power to stop a private prosecution
  • The CPS Code for Prosecutors - have you got sufficient evidence and is it in the public interest to proceed?
  • Challenges to private prosecutions by defendants
  • The Criminal Procedure Rules
  • Plea before venue and mode of trial - what is expected of the prosecution?
  • CPIA and common law duties of disclosure
  • When must the defence be disclosed?
  • Expert evidence
  • Preparing for trial
  • The trial itself
  • What goes wrong and why?
  • Sentence - the relevant guidelines and ancillary orders
  • Cross-over with civil litigation
  • Confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime - who can seek an order and when?
  • How does confiscation work?
  • Appeals - who can appeal and in what circumstances?
  • Funding
  • What costs can be recovered and how from central funds and from a defendant?
  • Potential pitfalls and issues likely to occur in private prosecutions

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Discounts are available for multiple places and if you have 5 or more people interested in this course and would like to discuss holding it in your area or on an in-house basis then please email us at information@mblseminars.com
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