Neil Swift and Alistair Jones on central funding of private prosecution
R (on the application of T M Eye Ltd) v Southampton Crown Court concerned the payment of prosecution costs out of central funds after a successful private prosecution. The court made helpful observations about the correct approach to applications made by private prosecutors for these costs. Applications will not be granted by the court ‘on the nod’. That is not to say that a lengthy or detailed enquiry will always, or often, be necessary for the purposes of section 17.
However, the court is entitled to call for all such information as it thinks necessary in order to decide whether to grant the application and on what terms. Since each application for costs will require case-specific consideration, the court did not think it appropriate to offer any wider general guidance about when costs will be awarded or refunded. However, the court did identify a number of factors that may be relevant to a section 17 costs determination.