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Elguzouli-Daf v Commissioner of Police [1995] QB 335 Court of Appeal

Conjoined appeals of McBrearty and Elguzouli-Daf involving claims against the Crown Prosection Service.

McBrearty

McBreaty was arrested and charged with offences relating to an IRA bomb attack which killed 11 people. He was refused bail and remanded in custody. The only evidence against him was traces of explosives on his hands which may have resulted from innocent contamination. At the committal proceedings the CPS offered no evidence against him as they could not rule out the possibility of innocent contamination. The case was discharged by the magistrates. McBrearty had spent 85 days in custody and brought an action against the CPS arguing they should have discontinued the case earlier.


Elguzouli-Daf:

Elguzouli-Daf was charged with rape. He was refused bail and remanded in custody. The CPS later learned that the semen sample provided by Elguzouli-Daf did not match that found on the victim. It took them a further 22 days to drop the prosecution. Elguzouli-Daf brought an action for damages against the CPS in acting without reasonable diligence in obtaining and/or processing and/or communicating the results of the tests.

Held:

No duty of care is owed by the CPS in their decision making with regards to prosecutions.

Steyn LJ:
"The reasoning in Hill militates by way of analogy against recognizing a duty of care in the case of the CPS. Indeed in some ways it could be said that the argument against a duty of care, and for immunity, is even stronger in the present case since much of police work is operational whereas the function of the CPS involves to a large extent matters of judgment and discretion."
 
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