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About

The PPA is a membership organisation for professionals with expertise in bringing private prosecutions and academics with an interest in this field.

Private prosecutions allow individuals, businesses or organisations who have been the victims of crime to pursue justice in the criminal courts by bringing a criminal case themselves, without the involvement of law enforcement agencies. They can offer an alternative remedy in cases where an investigation or prosecution has not been pursued by the state.

In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of private prosecutions before the UK courts. High profile cases have included R v Somaia and R v Zinga. Continued growth in this field is anticipated given the budget and resource constraints faced by the police, prosecution and enforcement agencies.

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PPA

Membership

Anyone wishing to join must complete an application form and their application will be considered by the PPA Committee.

Members may be solicitors, barristers, accountants, investigators, forensic analysts or other professionals who can demonstrate expertise in investigating, advising on or bringing a private prosecution and commitment to promoting the core values of the Private Prosecutors’ Association, as set out in the Constitution. We also invite academics with an interest in this area to join.

The membership fee is £50 per annum.

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Knowledge

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a private prosecution?2021-04-28T12:42:49+00:00

Most investigations and prosecutions are carried out by public authorities. A private prosecution is “a prosecution started by a private individual or entity who/which is not acting on behalf of the police or other prosecuting authority” (CPS Legal Guidance on Private Prosecutions).

Who can bring a private prosecution?2021-04-28T12:43:25+00:00

Section 6(1) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 preserves the right to bring private prosecutions in the following terms:

“…nothing in this Part shall preclude any person from instituting any criminal proceedings or conducting any criminal proceedings to which the Director’s duty to take over the conduct of proceedings does not apply.”

‘Any person’ means any private individual or entity. In Rubin v DPP [1990] 2 QB 80, Watkins LJ expressed the view that a prosecution should be brought in the name of an individual. This proposition was, however, doubted by Woolf LJ in Ealing Justices, ex parte Dixon [1990] 2 QB 91. Nonetheless, his lordship said (at p. 101) that he would ‘regard it as preferable’ for an individual to be named, albeit that he is acting on behalf of a body corporate.

Can a private prosecution be commenced if the private prose