5. Think about a private prosecution

A is a process where you apply to the court to lay criminal charges against someone you believe committed a crime.

Most of the time, people report a crime to the police. Then the police investigate and decide if they should lay charges against the .

If the police lay charges, a prosecutor is responsible for prosecuting the charges in court. If the case goes to trial, a judge or jury decides whether the prosecutor has proven the accused's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If the police investigate but decide not to lay charges, or if they decide not to investigate at all, you can apply for a private prosecution. In a private prosecution, an individual asks the court to charge the person they believe committed a crime.

To apply for a private prosecution, you must have reasonable grounds to believe that someone committed a crime. This means that you can't just have a feeling or a suspicion. Your belief must be based on reliable information. Read more about private prosecutions in What is a private prosecution and how do I apply for one?

CLEO's Guided Pathway for Private Prosecutions can help you learn more about private prosecutions for certain crimes involving gender-based violence.

Hide this website