Prosecution right to appeal—terminatory rulings
Produced in partnership with Eva Niculiu of Three Raymond Buildings
Prosecution right to appeal—terminatory rulings

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Eva Niculiu of Three Raymond Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Prosecution right to appeal—terminatory rulings
  • Prosecutor’s appeal against terminating rulings
  • Relationship with other types of appeal
  • Scope of the right to appeal against terminatory rulings—what rulings can be appealed?
  • Examples of rulings which can be appealed
  • Types of rulings which cannot be appealed
  • Invoking the right to appeal—conditions precedent
  • Expedited and non-expedited appeals
  • Effect of initiating an appeal
  • Leave to appeal and service of documents
  • more

Prosecutor’s appeal against terminating rulings

Part 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003) (sections 57–74) gives the prosecution a right to appeal against adverse rulings made by a Crown Court judge in relation to a trial on indictment.

The appeal lies to the Court of Appeal, and only with leave of the trial judge or the Court of Appeal.

Such appeals fall into two broad categories:

  1. appeals against terminatory rulings—in force since 4 April 2005, and

  2. appeals against evidentiary rulings which significantly weaken the prosecution case—the relevant provisions are not yet in force

This Practice Note deals only with the first category of appeal.

The prosecution cannot appeal the acquittal of a defendant in the Crown Court. The purpose of the right to appeal against terminatory rulings is to allow the prosecution an interlocutory remedy against a trial judge’s ruling which would have the effect of terminating the prosecution case, and, if the ruling is found to be wrong and the defendant can still receive a fair trial, allow the trial to resume or start again.

The applicable procedure is set out in the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 (CrimPR), SI 2015/1490, Pt 38.

The effect of such appeals, in broad terms, is:

  1. if the appeal fails, or if the defendant cannot receive a fair trial following a successful appeal, the defendant is acquitted