Well, after getting your PCT consultation in, have you got consultation fever? I have. Sort of. If you’re having withdrawal symptoms, then there’s the CPS consultation on victims right of appeal against CPS decisions up and running.
I covered the current consultation at UK Crime Blog. In brief, the CPS have toughened up their procedure in allowing ‘victims’ to appeal against CPS decisions to not charge a suspect and to discontinue, withdraw or to offer no evidence in a case. I’ve done a draft response here and, as always, welcome any feedback on it. And if you are going to do your own one, feel free to steal any of mine that you wish. In essence though, here’s a summary of my response:
- There should be more public debate, now that we have the planned guidance, as to the desirability of giving victim’s more ‘rights
- Who is going to pay for this? Is it an expense that we can justify?
- The definitions need to be tightened up.
- More consideration should be given to what the ‘qualifying decisions’ are.
- Given the requirement for independence by whoever conducts the review, and the existence of a group of independent Panel Advocates, it should be those advocates who are responsible for conducting reviews*.
What I think should be stressed, and I will be stressing to anyone who listens, is that this is not being done out of the goodness of the CPS heart, but because there is a new EU Directive that requires a right of review. Unsurprisingly, this aspect has not been stressed, but let’s celebrate the Tories following EU law.
*self-interest klaxon at that point!