Usually, prosecutions are launched by a public prosecutor on behalf of the state. However, an individual or an organisation is entitled, in some situations, to conduct their own prosecution against someone else who they accuse of committing a crime, widely defined.
There are a number of organisations that regularly prosecute cases before the courts of England and Wales but they do so as private individuals, using the right of any individual to bring a private prosecution. One example is the RSPCA.
The advantage of a private prosecution is that you can have control of proceedings. You do not have to wait for the police to take action, even where they agree that a prosecution should be brought. Also, privately prosecuting enables those prosecuting to save time and money. In principle, there is nothing wrong in allowing a private prosecution to run its course through to verdict and, in appropriate cases, sentence.
Be careful, though, when it comes to costs. If you launch a private prosecution without good reasons, or frivolously, the court might decide that you should have to pay the other side’s costs.
If you are thinking of launching a private prosecution, consult a barrister with expertise in the subject, who will be able to advise and assist you.
Why choose a barrister?
Barristers are experts in the law, can advise you authoritatively on how to comply with the law and dispute resolution procedures. Or your barrister can make sure you are well prepared to represent yourself.
Who is the best barrister for me?
If you need expert advice on a private prosecution, choose a barrister on myBarrister.
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