It is generally the case that in the preparation of a criminal prosecution, the Prosecuting Authority must disclose all material that is relevant to the proceedings, even though it might be detrimental to the Prosecution Case.
However, there is an exception whereby the courts can grant an Order permitting the Prosecutor from disclosing material which is regarded as potentially damaging to the public interest.
This protection is known as Public-Interest Immunity (‘PII’).
Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the importance and relevance of material which may be regarded as PII and the procedure for seeking the appropriate Order.
If you are being investigated for or facing criminal proceedings of any nature, it is imperative that you seek immediate expert legal guidance.
Our team is here to assist you. Please feel free to call us for an initial no obligation confidential discussion:
The Disclosure Process | Kangs Serious Crime Defence Solicitors
- A defendant facing criminal prosecution is generally entitled to see all of the evidence which becomes available to the Prosecution.
- There is an obligation upon the Prosecution to collate, examine and disclose all relevant material to the defendant(s), even though such material may assist the case for the defence or, alternatively, undermine the case for the Prosecution.
- Failure to observe the very strict guidelines involved when conducting this process can result in dire consequences for the Prosecution, often leading to the Prosecution case being dismissed by a court.
- Kangs Solicitors has featured in several high -profile cases where, following representation to the court that disclosure has not been properly conducted, the court has ruled that it would not be proper for the prosecution to continue.
- If whilst preparing its case, the Prosecuting Authority comes across material which it considers that, if served is likely to damage the interests of the public or national security, it is entitled to seek an Order of the court removing the need to disclose that material upon the basis that it falls in the PII category.
- The Prosecuting Authority has an overriding duty to have regard to the public interest.
The Procedure For PII Applications | Kangs Discovery Solicitors
- The Prosecution will appoint a ‘Designated Disclosure Officer’ who will consider all of the material obtained during the course of an investigation and categorise it as ‘sensitive or non-sensitive material’.
- Sensitive material, which may satisfy the criteria for the PII test includes that which:
- helps to prevent, detect and investigate crime,
- reveals journalist resources,
- may pose a risk to National Security and the interests to the State,
- may reveal the name of a police informant,
- contains documentation which sets out procedures and tactical methods adopted to by the Prosecuting Authorities to enhance their investigative processes,
- details premises and locations which are used for surveillance purposes.
- If material satisfies various relevant tests and is considered to fall within the PII definition, the Prosecuting Authority will make an application to the court which will decide whether or not the Prosecuting Authority has to disclose the material after a review at which, normally, only the Prosecuting Authority is present.
- If an Order is made, the defendant is entitled to challenge it.
- PII Applications are frequently made when the following Serious Complex Crime Offences are being prosecuted:
- Offences linked to EncroChat
- Importation of Class A & B Drugs
- Complex Multi Million Pound Frauds
- Money Laundering
- People trafficking
- Controlling, causing or inciting prostitution
- False imprisonment
- Rape or other sexual offences.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
If any of the issues raised in the article affect you or you are concerned about your current predicament, it is advisable to seek early advice before you are contacted by any law enforcement agency.
We can explain your rights to you and provide you with guidance on any likely future action.
Hamraj Kang leads an award-winning team of solicitors nationally reputed for its excellence in serious complex investigations of every nature.
We welcome new enquiries by telephone or email.
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