Principled Prosecutions

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The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales expressed concern today about a proposal that would allow a prosecutor to drop a case if it was not “a proportionate response to the specific offending”.

I first drew attention to this yesterday and the story was picked up by today’s Telegraph.

When I suggested to Lord Judge at a press briefing today that the DPP was proposing that cases should be dropped if they were disproportionately expensive, the Lord Chief Justice replied:

Have we really reached the stage where we cannot afford to prosecute people for offences they have committed? If we have, I’m not sure I’m content about that.

It’s a cause for concern because, ultimately, that undermines public confidence in the administration of the criminal justice system.

Quite right.