What is Crime?: The Limits Of Criminalisation Conference

Speech by Senior Presiding Judge, Lord Justice Gross

31 March 2014

What can be said is that crime plainly belongs to the world of public law, not of private legal relations. Although many of our older crimes – assault, theft, fraud – have siblings in the law of tort, crime does not rely on private rights or corresponding private wrongs. The position of the Crown, representing the public interest, is distinct from that of the victim – which both stands in contrast to the position in private law and may explain the serious thinking needed to ensure that victims have a proper place in the CJS. The State does not rely on the consent or standing of any private person to bring criminal proceedings.

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