Abuse of Process

Abuse of Process

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General Principles

The basic principle is that it is for the prosecution, not the court, to decide whether a prosecution should be commenced and, if commenced, whether it should continue. InEnvironment Agency v Stanford [1998] C.O.D. 373, DC, Lord Bingham LCJ said:

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“The jurisdiction to stay, as has been repeatedly explained, is one to be exercised with the greatest caution … The question of whether or not to prosecute is for the prosecutor. Most of the points relied on in support of an argument of abuse are more profitably relied on as mitigation.”