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CPS to monitor equalities data on joint enterprise prosecutions following successful legal challenge

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has agreed to gather and analyse equalities data regarding persons prosecuted on a joint enterprise (secondary liability) basis in response to a claim for judicial review brought by the campaign group JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association).

There have been longstanding and persistent concerns about disproportionality in joint enterprise prosecutions, especially for offences of serious violence, of Black and other minority ethnic persons, younger persons and persons who are neurodiverse. JENGbA brought a judicial review challenging the CPS’ failure to gather and monitor data regarding the protected characteristics of those prosecuted on this basis, contending that this breached the Public Sector Equality Duty in s.149 of the Equality Act 2010. Following issue of the claim, and whilst not conceding a breach of duty, the CPS has agreed to implement a pilot scheme and thereafter a full national scheme for gathering and reviewing equalities data on joint enterprise prosecutions. The CPS has also committed to consult relevant stakeholders, including JENGbA, on the form of the final national scheme.

Raj Desai and Aidan Wills acted for JENGbA, instructed by Liberty.

See Liberty press release here