Frequently asked questions
Not necessarily. If you qualify as an intimidated or vulnerable witness, you may be eligible for "special measures". This allows, for example, the court to erect a screen between you and the defendant or for you to give evidence by a video link. Detailed guidance on the many special measures available to protect witnesses is provided on the Crown Prosecution Service website
The police investigation into the crime should begin immediately after you report it. By law, the police must regular updates (at least monthly) about your case. They must also tell you if someone is arrested and charged for the crime, and provide clear information about whether you qualify for aid from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority .
No, you do not have to provide a statement if you do not want to. But if you fail to provide one the police may not be able to investigate the crime. If you feel uneasy about making a statement, you should know that you do not have to give it immediately. Another thing to note is that after you have made and signed your statement, it may become part of the prosecution case and all parties involved in the case, including the accused, will be able to read it.
Yes. Every citizen has the right to bring a private prosecution to enforce criminal laws. If you suffered an injury, property damage, or theft as a result of a crime, you may also be able to sue the perpetrator for compensation -- even if he or she is acquitted of all criminal charges.
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Conservationists demand tougher laws for puffins
Conservationists have demanded greater legal protection for puffins on the Channel Island of Alderney, saying that local dog walkers are threatening the species, reports the BBC. The Alderney Wildlife Trust would like tougher laws to be introduced to protect the...
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Five musicians sacked from the hit West-End musical 'War Horse' have lost a legal fight to have their sacking suspended whilst a breach of contract case is heard, reports the BBC. The five musicians were released by the producers of...
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Korea state insurance firm sues tobacco companies
The South Korean state insurance company has initiated legal proceedings in Asia against cigarette manufacturers in a bid to have them pay for smoking-related treatment costs, reports the BBC. The unprecedented legal action pit the South Korean National Health Insurance...
Former deputy speaker says CPS should pay legal bill and criticises anonymity for sexual cases
The former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans MP has demanded that the Crown Prosecution Service pay his £130,000 legal bill after being acquitted in a trial over a string of sexual offences, reports the BBC. Mr...
Gay marriage: Chaplain defies rules to marry partner in England
A hospital chaplain has defied Church of England rules to marry his long-term partner this weekend, despite the move being censured by his church, reports the BBC. Same-sex marriage became law in the UK last year, and the first ceremonies...
'Top Gear' venue loses fight over unrestricted flying rights
The owners of Dunsfold Park Aerodrome have lost their legal fight to secure the right to conduct unrestricted flying at the venue, in a blow to the producers of the Top Gear programme that is filmed there, reports the BBC....
Legal challenge to GP exam fails in High Court
The High Court has ruled that the examinations set by the Royal College of General Practitioners is lawful, but rules that it is time for the profession to address the differences in pass rates between white and non-white candidates, reports...