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latest update 12 February 2010

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Misconduct in public office

The Crown Prosecution Service defines Misconduct in public office as follows:

The elements of misconduct in public office are:

a) A public officer acting as such.

b) Wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself.

c) To such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder.

d) Without reasonable excuse or justification

It continues, to define the Charging Practice:

Like perverting the course of justice, misconduct in public office covers a wide range of conduct. It should always be remembered that it is a very serious, indictable only offence* carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. A charge of misconduct in public office should be reserved for cases of serious misconduct or deliberate failure to perform a duty which is likely to injure the public interest.

* an "indictable only offence" may only be tried in the Crown Court.

The day will come.


© copyright Crown Prosecution Service. Reproduced under fair use for the dual purposes of comment and news reporting

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