Reconsidering a Prosecution Decision


10.1 People should be able to rely on decisions taken by the CPS. Normally, if the CPS tells a suspect or defendant that there will not be a prosecution, or that the prosecution has been stopped, the case will not start again. But occasionally there are reasons why the CPS will overturn a decision not to prosecute or to deal with the case by way of an out-of-court disposal or when it will restart the prosecution, particularly if the case is serious.

10.2 These reasons include:

  1. cases where a new look at the original decision shows that it was wrong and, in order to maintain confidence in the criminal justice system, a prosecution should be brought despite the earlier decision;
  2. cases which are stopped so that more evidence [which is likely to become available in the fairly near future] can be collected and prepared. In these cases, the prosecutor will tell the defendant that the prosecution may well start again;
  3. cases which are stopped because of a lack of evidence but where more significant evidence is discovered later; and
  4. cases involving a death in which a review following the findings of an inquest concludes that a prosecution should be brought, notwithstanding any earlier decision not to prosecute.