Ex-officio Bills of Indictment - 1978

Annual General Meeting, 28th October 1978.

'While acknowledging the right of the Crown Law Authorities to find an ex-officio Bill of Indictment, it is the view of the CCL that such a step should never have been taken in the circumstances surrounding the Barton Case. The Bartons have already been subjected to two lengthy committal proceedings over a period in excess of 18 months. In the first proceedings, the Magistrate would not commit them for trial. In the second proceedings the Magistrate, after finding a prima facie case, heard evidence from the Bartons, but prior to his determination as to whether they should stand trial, it was announced on behalf of the Crown Law Authorities that the information would be withdrawn and that an ex-officio
indictment would be presented against them and others in the Supreme Court in respect of yet a third set of charges. The presentation of an indictment in these circumstances is not in accordance with the sense of justice that one should expect to find in the Crown Law Authorities.'