The ancient common law offence of Misconduct in Public Office had largely fallen into disuse since the late 18th century, but has recently seen an increase in use where there have been allegations of sexual abuse. Following a consultation reform is recommended.
In the last decade the offence has been used in relation to journalists paying police officers for information and more recently it was used to prosecute a clergyman for abusing a group of young men over a 15 year period.
This week The Law Commission published its report and draft Bill intended to overhaul the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). The proposed replacement will require advance authorisation of deprivation of liberty in all but truly urgent cases and there are calls for greater enforcement of penalties for non-compliance.
The Law Commission has commenced a consultation in to a review of the offence of misconduct in public office. The purpose is to decide whether the offence should be abolished, retained, restated or amended. Continue reading