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Public Interest Immunity Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes

Updates Available  

A more recent version of these Public Interest Immunity notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:


? the rule o function: enables pros to withhold material that would otherwise have to be disclosed under CPIA 1996

o need permission of court - pros makes application before / midway through trial o basis: disclosure would give rise to real risk of serious prejudice to an important public interest

o how PII interacts with disclosuregeneral rule = full disclosure: to satisfy art 6, pros should disclose to defence all material in possession for / against Dexception = PII: under art 6, CANNOT withhold material unless nondisclosure 'strictly necessary'

? preparation for the application o considerations before making:pros should aim to disclose as much material as they can (e.g. by giving defence redacted copies)neutral material / material damaging to D need NOT be disclosed AND must NOT be brought to court's attentionpros should only apply in truly borderline cases (AG's Guidelines on Disclosure)

o general points:prior to hearing, court must be provided with full + accurate informationpros advocate must examine all material which is subject matter of application + make any necessary inquiries of prosecutor and / or investigatorprosecutor (or rep) and / or investigator should attend such applications

? application / hearing procedure o 3 classes of case (R v Ward; Davis)class 1 - the usual cases


pros must:

i. give notice to defence that they are applying for PII ruling; +

ii. indicate to defence at least the category of material they hold (broad ground on which PII claimed)

(b) defence must have opportunity to make representations to court

(c) hearing conducted in open court with both parties (i.e. pros and the D) presentclass 2 - cases where pros contend public interest would be injured if disclosure made even of category of material

(a) pros must give notice to defence that they are applying for PII ruling; +

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