Misuse of process–proceedings begun in breach of promise not to prosecute
Misuse of process–proceedings begun in breach of promise not to prosecute

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

  • Misuse of process–proceedings begun in breach of promise not to prosecute
  • Breach of promise not to prosecute
  • Reliance on a promise not to prosecute
  • Setting aside cautions or fixed penalty notices

Misuse of process–proceedings begun in breach of promise not to prosecute

Breach of promise not to prosecute

The duty of public authorities to act fairly and the rule of law which allows a person to predict the consequences of their actions with a degree of certainty are fundamental to the working of criminal justice.

Where a defendant is charged in circumstances when they have previously been told by the enforcing body that they will not be prosecuted, this is capable of being an abuse of process. The defendant will not need to demonstrate bad faith on the part of the enforcement body in order to make an application for a stay.

A formal indication from a prosecution advocate to the defence that charges are to be dropped and no evidence offered, but which is then withdrawn by a different prosecutor, can also amount to an abuse of process. In R v Bloomfield [1997] 1 Cr App R 135 (not reported by LexisNexis®) the indication was repeated before the Judge in chambers at a plea and directions hearing and the Court of Appeal ruled that there was an abuse of process, regardless of whether any prejudice was caused to the defendant. As such, a revocation would bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The court also found that it was irrelevant whether the prosecutor who had made

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