Domestic Abuse: Prosecutions

(asked on 7th July 2021) - View Source

Question to the Attorney General:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need for improvements in the implementation of the public interest test in decisions about whether to prosecute in cases involving a suspect who may also be a survivor of domestic abuse.

Answered by
Lord Stewart of Dirleton Portrait
Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
This question was answered on 20th July 2021

All decisions to prosecute are made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and a case must meet the evidential and public interest stages of the Full Code Test.

We recognise that suspects may also be victims of domestic abuse. Accordingly, the Code acknowledges that suspects may have a lower level of culpability if they are compelled, coerced, or are victims of crime. The sixth edition of Charging (The Director's Guidance) published in December 2020 reinforces that in such circumstances it may be appropriate to offer an of court disposal or not to proceed with a case.

The CPS also has bespoke guidance illustrating how bespoke conditional cautions can support offenders in appropriate cases.

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