TV drama ‘Mr Bates vs The Post Office’ tells the story of the Post Office ‘Horizon’ scandal and the lives torn apart by 700 “successful” private prosecutions of entirely innocent self-employed subpostmasters.
After the miniseries was seen by millions earlier this month, private prosecutions – which allow alleged victims of crime to prosecute their own criminal cases – are now a topic of national debate. As a result, the government is under pressure to act against what some believe is an emerging two-tier justice system.
Where the state lacks prosecution resources, capability, or both, and in fraud cases in particular, those with significant financial resources can obtain justice privately. Regular citizens, on the other hand, can not.
Private prosecutions are known for their high conviction rates; cases brought by the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the Premier League, and those involving Sky, are certainly no exception. While still controversial, Post…