It depends on the light you see this in.
But what are the different 'lights'?
But what are the different 'lights'?
I didn't realize that in the UK a private individual could prosecute a criminal case. That isn't possible here in the US, and I think it's grotesque.
You don't see any potential problems with for profit corporations conducting and prosecuting their own criminal cases? A government is at least theoretically supposed to operate under the pretense of being fair to everyone and working in the public's best interests. Whereas a corporation represents no interests other than that of themselves. They are paying for the laws to get written in the first place in the form of lobbying, paying for private investigators to investigate possible cases of the law being broken, and paying for the cases they manufacture to be prosecuted. Seems like a significant subversion from the ideal way that criminal laws are created and enforced.
In what sense is it just for such prosecutions to be undertaken solely for individuals who can afford to "fund" (read: bribe) the necessary agencies?
The distinction with YouTube is that (as far as we know), nobody at YouTube is actively encouraging people to upload copyrighted materials, and they have a pretty rapid takedown policy in place when it happens. You're not going to see full copies of "The Dark Knight Rises" on youtube for any lengthy amount of time. Again, the charge was not copyright infringement, it was conspiracy to defraud.
A private prosecution should be taken over and stopped if, upon review of the case papers, either the evidential sufficiency stage or the public interest stage of the Full Code Test [short version - too terrible quality a case to stand] is not met.
However, even if the Full Code Test is met, it may be necessary to take over and stop the prosecution on behalf of the public where there is a particular need to do so, such as where the prosecution is likely to damage the interests of justice. Examples include:
* cases where the prosecution interferes with the investigation of another criminal offence;
* cases where the prosecution interferes with the prosecution of another criminal charge;
* cases where it can be said that the prosecution is vexatious (within the meaning of section 42 Supreme Court Act 1981, as amended by section 24 Prosecution of Offences Act 1985), or malicious (where the public prosecutor is satisfied that the prosecution is being undertaken on malicious grounds);
* cases where the prosecuting authorities (including the police, the CPS or any other public prosecutor) have promised the defendant that he will not be prosecuted at all (a promise of immunity from prosecution): Turner v DPP (1979) 68 Cr. App. R. 70. This does not include cases where the prosecuting authorities have merely informed the defendant that they will not be bringing or continuing proceedings;
* cases where the defendant has already been given either a simple caution or a conditional caution for the offence (which remains in being), and the simple caution was appropriately given in accordance with Home Office cautioning guidelines, or the giving of the conditional caution was in accordance with the Director's Guidance on Conditional Cautioning.
The policy in intervening in private prosecutions when there is no case to answer, or where the public interest factors against the prosecution outweigh those in favour, is lawful, but should be applied to each charge individually: R v DPP Ex Parte Duckenfield; R v SAME Ex Parte Murray; R v South Yorkshire Police Authority and Another Ex Parte Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police  1 WLR 55; and Raymond v Attorney General  75 Cr. App. R. 34.
In cases where you decide that taking over a private prosecution in order to stop it is the appropriate course of action, then, unless there are exceptional circumstances, you should write to the private prosecutor explaining the reasons for your decision.
That is bribery. That is corruption. That is private prosecution.
Because not everyone can afford it. There are two levels of justice: One for those who can pay, and one for those who can't.
In a civil case you just lose money rather than spend time in a prison. Whether or not I'm free to live my life should not be a question of whether or not rich people dislike me. It's the same reason why debtors' prisons are a bad idea.
Aside from the specific charge and amount of money, is that not exactly what happened here?
Fair enough. But the effect on the public at large is exactly the same as if they had.
In a Tuesday interview, FACT spokesman Eddy Leviten brushed off any suggestion that the financial ties between FACT and the BTSFIU created a conflict of interest, however.
"The banking industry in the UK funds the check and credit bureau in the Metropolitan Police," he told us. "It's something that happens in the UK where private industry can fund specific units within law enforcement to take on a specific role. Those units still have to withstand the same scrutiny" as any other law enforcement agency.
If I were looking for clear corruption in this case, I'd be pointing at the breaking and entering and utter disregard for the rules of the chain of evidence by FACT investigators, as well as at the inexplicable decision of Bedfordshire Trading Standards Financial Investigations Unit to attempt an utterly ultra vires legal action whilst having their salaries paid by FACT. That's hugely problematic.
There is some percentage of the population that is currently breaking one law or another. The government has an incentive to use its limited resources to prosecute cases against people in a way that is in the public as a whole's best interests. Private corporations have no such incentive. So a criminal justice system which allows a significant amount of crimes to be investigated and prosecuted using private funds will tend to skew the population of people who are convicted of crimes towards whatever the interests are of the people who are paying for it. If in the UK for example an organization was established to hire private investigators to follow people of a certain race and pay for prosecutions leading from that evidence gathering, it would would create a more systematically racist justice system, even if all of the actual people convicted actually committed crimes.
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