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R v AB: CA case on Local Authorities’ Power to bring Prosecutions

The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in R v AB and others [2017] EWCA Crim 534 ( attached). This case concerns local authorities’ power to bring prosecutions under section 222 of the Local Government Act 1972 where it is expedient to do so in the interests of the inhabitants of their area.

A local authority commenced proceedings for a legal aid fraud alleged to have been committed in their area. The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) considered that whilst the powers of a local authority to bring proceedings under section 222 were wide where it considered ‘it expedient for the promotion or protection of the interests of the inhabitants of their area’, they did not extend to bringing such a fraud prosecution. Such matters should be pursued by other agencies such as the CPS or the SFO. The Court declared that the local authority had no power to bring the proceedings under section 222 and they were taken over by the CPS.

Judgment available here: R v AB