Court costs and acquittals (FOI)
Court costs and acquittals (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 16 January 2019.
Please provide the following information for 2017 and 2018 (as far as possible).
The number of criminal prosecutions abandoned following the defendant having been charged with a criminal offence.
The number of defendant acquittals following a trial (in both the Magistrate’s Court and Royal Court).
The total amount paid in defence costs to defendants / their law firm following acquittal after trial (in both the Magistrate’s Court and Royal Court).
The total amount paid in defence costs to defendants / their law firm following the abandonment of a prosecution (in both the Magistrate’s Court and Royal Court).
The total amount paid by the States to external Crown Advocates (ie those not employed directly by the Law Offices Department but employed in private Law Firms) for overseeing criminal prosecutions.
In 2017 no evidence was offered in 54 cases in the Magistrate’s Court and in five cases in the Royal Court.
In 2018, no evidence was offered in 14 cases in the Magistrate’s Court and in eight in the Royal Court.
The reason for the significant reduction in cases where no evidence was offered in the Magistrate’s Court is because the Law Officers’ Department (LOD) has introduced a policy of providing earlier advice in more cases to ensure that fewer cases are discontinued.
Accordingly the number of advice files provided was 82 in 2017 and 357 in 2018. Indeed of the 14 cases where no evidence was offered in 2018, 10 were cases where the LOD had not advised. So there were only four cases where no evidence was offered after legal advice. The eight Royal Court cases were all cases which had not benefitted from the new LOD process.
In 2017 there were 19 trials in the Magistrate’s Court of which five resulted in an acquittal. There were 20 trials in the Royal Court of which nine resulted in an acquittal.
In 2018 there were 33 trials in the Magistrate’s Court of which 10 resulted in an acquittal; there were nine in the Royal Court of which four resulted in an acquittal.
Question C and D are answered in terms of claims made by defence and allowed by the Greffier. The answer relates to cases where there has been either an acquittal or an abandonment. There are no separate figures for acquittal and abandonment.
2017 Amount claimed £145,133.58; amount paid £84,216.45
2018 Amount claimed £237,017.35; amount paid – figures not finalised
2017 Amount paid £841,709
2018 Amount paid £130,318 (Claims pending determination - £763,000)
See answer to question C above.
The total amount paid by the States to external Crown Advocates for overseeing criminal prosecutions was as follows:
2017 - £501,153.65
2018 – £640,598.60
The sums expended on external Crown Advocates have reduced considerably in recent years as a result of fixed fees being introduced for all cases lasting less than two weeks and a greater number of trials being conducted by lawyers employed by the LOD.