Misconduct in Public Office

Friday 26th July 2013

Misconduct in public office - in the recent case of R. v. Cosford & others [2013] it was found that privately employed nurses and hospital workers in a prison were acting in public office in respect of their actions. Therefore, a potential defendant would not be able to defend a legal action on the basis that they were not public officers, i.e. police officers or probation staff. As the judge stated "A public officer is an officer who discharges any duty in the discharge of which the public are interested, more clearly so if he is paid out of a fund provided by the public. If taxes go to supply his payment and the public have an interest in the duties he discharges, he is a public officer."