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How to Request Reasons and Reviews
1. What information can I ask for if the DPP decides 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.
2. Who can ask for this information?
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.
3. Will the DPP give reasons in all cases?
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.
4. How do I ask for a summary of reasons for a decision made by the DPP?
You must complete a Request for Reasons Form and send it to our Communications and Victims Liaison Unit. The contact details for the Unit are set out below.
The Request for Reasons Form is available here on this website or from your local Garda Station.
5. Is there a time limit for asking for reasons?
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.
6. How long will it take to get a summary of reasons?
A lawyer in the Communications and 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.
7. What happens if I am not satisfied with the reasons?
If you are not satisfied with the reasons for our decision not to prosecute, you can ask for a review of the decision.
8. How can I ask for a review of a decision made by the DPP?
You can write to the Communications and Victims Liaison Unit to ask for a review of the decision. The address is below.
9. Is there a time limit for asking for a review?
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.
10. How is the review carried out?
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.
11. How long will it take to conduct a review?
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.
12. What are the possible outcomes of a review?
There are two possible outcomes when a review of a decision not to prosecute takes place:
- The reviewer decides the original decision should be reversed and that there should be a prosecution. If this happens, we will instruct the Gardaí to start court proceedings as soon as possible.
- The reviewer decides the original decision not to prosecute is correct. If this is the outcome, then there is no further right of review.
13. How can I make a complaint?
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.
14. Where can I get more information?
You can get more information on the Victims and Witnesses section of this website.
Our website also has useful publications including:
- Victims Charter
- Information booklet on ‘How we make prosecution decisions’
- Information booklet on The Role of the DPP
- Guidelines for Prosecutors
- Code of Ethics for Prosecutors
You can contact our Communications and Victims Liaison Unit at:
Communications and Victims Liaison Unit
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Tel: (01) 858 8444
Fax: (01) 642 7406
|We hope you find this information useful in explaining how to ask for reasons and reviews. Please note that it does not deal with every possible situation and it does not give legal advice. If you think you need legal advice, you should talk to a solicitor.|
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