The following explains about how to ask for reasons for decisions and reviews of decisions when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decides not to prosecute.
Decisions not to prosecute
You can ask the DPP for a summary of reasons for a decision not to prosecute. If you are not satisfied with the reasons, you can ask the DPP to review the decision.
You can ask the DPP for reasons for a decision not to prosecute or for a review of that decision if you are:
- a victim of crime;
- a family member of a victim in a fatal case;
- a solicitor acting on behalf of either of the above.
However, you can only ask about decisions not to prosecute made:
- on or after 16 November 2015; and
- in fatal cases where the death occurred on or after 22 October 2008.
No. If the decision not to prosecute was made by the Gardaí, a victim can ask the Gardaí for a summary of reasons for the decision.
The DPP cannot give reasons for decisions in cases where the suspect is dealt with under the Garda Síochána Adult Caution Scheme or the Juvenile Diversion Programme. Also, the DPP cannot give reasons for a decision not to prosecute if giving the information would:
- interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation;
- prejudice a future court case;
- put the personal safety of any person at risk;
- put the security of the State at risk.
Yes. You must send your request for reasons within 28 days of the date you are told of the decision not to prosecute. In some cases the DPP might extend this time limit. She will do this only if there is a good reason and if it is in the interests of justice.
A lawyer in the Victims Liaison Unit will write to you giving the summary of reasons. This usually happens within 28 days. In some cases, it may take longer. If this happens, we will write to you and let you know when you can expect to receive the reasons for our decision.
If you are not satisfied with the reasons for our decision not to prosecute, you can ask for a review of the decision.
You can write to the Victims Liaison Unit to ask for a review of the decision. The address is below.
Yes. If you have asked us for a reason for our decision, then your request for a review must be made within 28 days of the date on the letter telling you of the reason for not prosecuting your case.
If you have not asked us for a reason for our decision, you can still ask for a review. If you do this, your request for a review must be made within 56 days (8 weeks) of the date you are told of the decision not to prosecute.
In some cases the DPP may extend these time limits. She will do this only if there is a good reason and if it is in the interests of justice.
The review will be carried out by a lawyer who was not involved in making the original decision. This lawyer will consider all the evidence again in line with our Guidelines for Prosecutors. When the review is complete, the lawyer will write to you with the decision.
A review will usually be completed within six weeks of receiving your request. However, some complex cases might take longer. If this happens, we will write to you and let you know when a decision is likely to be made.
If you are unhappy with how your request for reasons or your request for a review was dealt with, you can write to:
The Director of Public Prosecutions
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Your complaint will be dealt with in line with our Complaints Policy which is available on this website.
You can get more information on the Victims and Witnesses section of this website.
Our website also has useful publications including:
You can contact our Victims Liaison Unit at:
Victims Liaison Unit
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Tel: (01) 858 8444
Fax: (01) 642 7406
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