Skip to main content

Administration of Justice

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Solicitor-General what guidance his Department has issued to the Crown Prosecution Service on procedures for the reinstatement of trials which have been aborted due to technical error. (146229)

No specific guidance has been issued to crown prosecutors on procedures for the reinstatement of trials, which have been aborted due to technical errors. Where cases are stopped because of a technical error, steps may be taken to correct the error so that the case may proceed in the usual way.

More general guidance has been issued, which states that a decision to re-institute proceedings should only be taken when ‘special circumstances’ exist that demand the reinstitution of proceedings in order to maintain public confidence in the criminal justice system. If it is decided to re-institute proceedings, action is taken to bring the defendant back before the court by way of a charge or summons. This process is independent of the previous proceedings.