The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Immunity
  • Immunity under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
  • Immunity notice
  • Procedure for granting immunity
  • Immunity notices and false evidence
  • Restricted use undertaking
  • Agreement to provide assistance

Immunity under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

Since 1 April 2006 there has been a statutory framework for giving immunity. It was not intended that the Act should prohibit the practice of texts where the police, with the agreement of the prosecution, confidentially inform the sentencing judge of assistance given by an accused to the prosecution. Texts may continue to be supplied under existing procedures. The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, ss 71–73 (SOCPA 2005) provides for:

  1. agreements not to prosecute the person under an immunity notice

  2. agreements not to use certain evidence against the person under a restricted use undertaking, and

  3. agreements to provide assistance in anticipation of a reduction in sentence under a witness assistance agreement

Immunity notices and restricted use undertakings may be given only by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in person or senior CPS Heads of Units in Headquarters designated by the DPP. The Director of the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, acting personally may all also give undertakings and immunity notices under section 71(4)(e) with the consent of the Attorney General. CPS Guidance suggests that the Attorney General should be consulted by the DPP or a prosecutor designated by him before any decision is made on the granting of a full immunity.


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