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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Bad Law and the CPS Part II: the Simon Walsh "extreme porn" trial

The second part of my article on bad law and the CPS comes out tomorrow in Criminal Law and Justice Weekly.  It concerns the "extreme porn trial" of the barrister Simon Walsh, who was acquitted of charges arising out of electronic images Mr Walsh possessed. Contrary to the Chambers twitter trial considered in Part I of the article, I have concluded that the CPS was not entirely to blame.  If there was a prima facie case that Mr Walsh had committed an offence, then he would have to be charged unless he passed the very stringent test of public interest being against a prosecution.  It is not for the CPS to rewrite the law - Parliament has to do so, and until it does we will be stuck with people being prosecuted when they should not be, as with Mr Walsh.  The jury system is the only hope in the meantime, and fortunately the jury worked in Mr Walsh's case.

A link to the online article (subscription only) is here.

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