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Dangerous Driving: Appeals

Attorney General written question – answered on 20th January 2020.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Attorney General, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of appeal and review processes for dangerous driving cases on access to justice for victims and their families.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Solicitor-General

The Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) scheme was launched in June 2013 and provides victims with the opportunity to request a review of a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision not to proceed with a prosecution. This can include cases where charges of death by dangerous driving have been considered.

Access to the scheme has been deliberately designed to be as simple and transparent as possible. No reasons or justification for requesting a review are required. A simple request from the victim that they wish for the decision to be reviewed is all that is required. The VRR scheme has been endorsed by the courts and published guidance is available online.

If the reviewing lawyer decides that the original decision was wrong, and a prosecution is required to maintain confidence in the Criminal Justice System, that decision will be overturned and proceedings reinstituted, where possible. All decision making is taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. Following a review under the VRR scheme, if a victim remains dissatisfied with the decision and wishes to challenge it further, they can apply to the High Court for a judicial review.

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