Court of Appeal victory in key police action challenge

The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in the case of Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Copeland [2014] EWCA Civ 1014.  In this case, the Court of Appeal resolved two legal issues of wide importance to police action practitioners: (a) the correct approach to the issue of who is the prosecutor for the purposes of the tort of malicious prosecution, and (b) the correct burden of proof for the purposes of the tort of false imprisonment.

 

The police argued that a lying police officer could only be the "prosecutor" for the purposes of the tort of malicious prosecution if it was "virtually impossible" for the officer who charged an individual to exercise any independent discretion.  The Court of Appeal disagreed, and held that the correct approach was to ask whether the lying officer was actively instrumental in setting the law in motion.

 

Heather Williams QC and Jude Bunting were instructed by Fisher Meredith LLP.

 

The judgment is available here:

 

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