What to do if abuse is claimed

1. The fact that the defence intend to raise an abuse of process argument may be indicated at an early stage in the prosecution. If such an argument is indicated, either directly by the defence notifying you, or indirectly by, for example, queries raised, you should:

  • consider the basis on which such an argument could be put forward;
  • examine all aspects of the prosecution, including the evidence in the case, the backdrop to the prosecution and any relevant history of the defendant, to provide information that may be relevant to both the defence argument and the prosecution response to the argument;
  • inform the Approval Officer (in many cases this will be the Principal Inspector);
  • ensure that the solicitor agent or counsel who will be prosecuting the case in court is informed at the earliest possible time that an abuse of process argument is to be made or may be made by the defence.

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Updated 2021-08-27