As the SKWAWKBOX covered this morning, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) has decided not to prosecute some 28 Tory MPs, candidates and their election agents over alleged breaches of electoral law on local campaign spending. A spokesperson for the CPS apparently told the BBC that, for charges to be brought, it had to be proven beyond reasonable doubt that those accused knew they were signing false declarations – and that because they were supposedly told that the expenses were national expenses, this was impossible.
This is deeply problematic for at least two reasons. Firstly, it’s not the job of the CPS to decide ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. The CPS’ ‘Code for Crown Prosecutors‘ does not give ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ as a basis for the decision to prosecute. It gives ‘more likely than not’:
‘Beyond reasonable doubt’ is for a jury to decide, not the CPS. The CPS has…
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