Guido Fawkes By email: Guido.Fawkes@Order-Order.


19 December 2012 Dear Mr Fawkes, INTERIM GUIDELINES ON PROSECUTING CASES INVOLVING COMMUNICATIONS SENT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA Thank you for participating in the roundtable discussion on interim guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent by social media. The discussions were really valuable and today I have issued the interim guidelines. The interim guidelines are the subject of public consultation and set out the additional considerations which are relevant when prosecutors assess whether a prosecution is required in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. The guidelines consultation document has been published on the CPS website and may be accessed via the link set out below: Each case will be considered on its own facts and on its own merits, and prosecutors have the task of balancing the fundamental right of free speech and the need to prosecute serious wrongdoing. The interim guidelines make a clear distinction between communications which amount to credible threats of violence, a targeted campaign of harassment or which breach court orders on the one hand, and other communications, e.g. grossly offensive communications, on the other. The first group will be prosecuted robustly, whereas the second group will only be prosecuted if they cross a high threshold and a prosecution is unlikely to be in the public interest if the communication is swiftly removed, blocked, not intended for a wide audience or not obviously beyond what could conceivably be tolerable or acceptable in a diverse society which upholds and respects freedom of expression.

Thank you again for helping us in the task of drawing up these interim guidelines. We would very much appreciate you taking the time to respond to the consultation questions so that your views can be taken into account in shaping the final guidelines. To that end, we would welcome your comments by 13 March 2013, through completing the proforma in Annex A of the guidelines consultation document. We will publish the final guidelines as soon as possible afterwards. Yours sincerely, KEIR STARMER QC DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful