HL Deb 10 March 1981 vol 418 cc273-4WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

On what statutory authority a prisoner is deprived of his common law right to bring a private prosecution.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Belstead)

Rule 33(2) of the Prison Rules 1964 precludes communication by a prisoner with any outside person without the leave of the Secretary of State. This rule is the basis for the prison standing order under which a prisoner is not permitted facilities to initiate a private criminal prosecution. If a prisoner claims to have evidence of a criminal offence allegedly committed outside prison, he may write to the police about it; where the offence was allegedly committed in prison, it is for the governor to initiate appropriate action.