19 October 2009

Public Interest Test

"CPS consults on changes to prosecution principles" 19th Oct 2009, asks the public for their opinion of the prosecutors code.

The consultation document can be found here.

These consultations tend to be closed affairs with the manner in which the questions are phrased, and indeed the particular questions, steering the outcome of the consultation.

So, in answer to the question that hasn't been asked,

"What would you add to the public interest test of the code?"

I would add the reasonable man test, viz ...

4.12 A prosecution is likely to be needed if:


v     A reasonable man would expect to be prosecuted if he did what the accused did.

I have in mind such things as ... (i) stealing money from the general public by rigging telephone votes; (ii) making lewd and offensive telephone calls to the grandparents of women boasting about sordid sex acts with their grand daughter; (iii) accessory to Hinks theft ie the dishonest appropriation of property (I have in mind donations to political parties that knowingly breach the rules).

These are just a few of the prosecutions that I think a reasonable man would be expected to be prosecuted for if he had done what was done in these cases.

Can anyone add any others?

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