HL Deb 29 February 1996 vol 569 c115WA
Earl Russell

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they accept, as a matter of future policy, that, where there is a significant public interest impediment to disclosure of documents which might prove the innocence of a defendant in a criminal trial, the prosecution should be discontinued.

The Lord Chancellor:

Prosecution policy is a matter for the independent prosecuting authorities and not for Her Majesty's Government. It has long been the practice of prosecuting authorities to discontinue proceedings if it is not possible to make disclosure of documents or information acknowledged by them or held by the court to be necessary for a fair trial.