The Law Commission has proposed that the offence of misconduct in public office (MisPO) be reformed.
It has recommended that MisPO be replaced with two offences: an offence of corruption in public office’ and an offence of breach of duty in public office. The intention is to focus the criminal law on the worst forms of misconduct, leaving space for other consequences such as disciplinary proceedings in less serious cases.
The Law Commission has set out a list of positions that constitute “public office” for the offences and proposes that the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions is required for the prosecution of the offences, to ensure that the right cases are prosecuted and to prevent vexatious private prosecutions. Dr Anton van Dellen has advised on MisPO in the context of inquest proceedings.