Perverting The Course Of Justice
Doing an act tending and intending to pervert the course of public justice is an offence under the common law of England and Wales.
Perverting the course of justice can be any of three acts:
Fabricating or disposing of evidence Intimidating or threatening a witness or juror Intimidating or threatening a judge Also criminal are:
conspiring with another to pervert the course of justice, and intending to pervert the course of justice This offence, and the subject matter of the related forms of criminal conspiracy, have been referred to as:
Perverting the course of justice Interfering with the administration of justice Obstructing the administration of justice Obstructing the course of justice Defeating the due course of justice Defeating the ends of justice Effecting a public mischief This proliferation of alternative names is “somewhat confusing”.
This offence is also sometimes referred to as “attempting to pervert the course of justice”. This is potentially misleading. An attempt to pervert the course of justice is a substantive common law offence and not an inchoate offence. It is not a form of the offence of attempt, and it would be erroneous to charge it as being contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981.
This offence is triable only on indictment.