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The Criminal Process

The Criminal Process (5th edn)

Liz Campbell, Andrew Ashworth, and Mike Redmayne
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date: 30 May 2023

p. 1546. Gatekeeping and diversion from prosecutionlocked

p. 1546. Gatekeeping and diversion from prosecutionlocked

  • Liz Campbell, Liz CampbellFrancine McNiff Chair of Criminal Jurisprudence, Monash University
  • Andrew AshworthAndrew AshworthEmeritus Vinerian Professor of English Law, University of Oxford
  •  and Mike RedmayneMike RedmayneThe Late Professor of Law, London School of Economics


This chapter focuses on the decisions taken by the gatekeepers of the criminal process. It first outlines the role of the police, followed by a comparison with the approach of regulatory bodies as agencies that select for official action certain types of person or situation—a selection that may lead either to prosecution and trial or to a form of diversion. The chapter then considers the range of formal responses to those who are believed to be offenders, including police cautions and other out-of-court disposals. It examines the problematic dimensions of diversion, before examining accountability and the values behind some of the differing policies.

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