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Explain the criteria governing the decision to prosecute by the CPS.

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Introduction

1. (A) Explain the criteria governing the decision to prosecute by the CPS. (B) Critically consider the reasons for the establishment of the criminal defense service. (A) The functions of the CPS are to be involved in all aspects of criminal prosecutions. The way in which they do this is by giving advise to the police on adversity of evidence before any charges are brought to the person. They review all cases passed to them by the police and examine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution and whether it is in the public interest to do so. The CPS is responsible for any case passed to them by the police. The CPS is also responsible for conducting prosecutions in the Magistrates courts. Lawyers working in the CPS as crown prosecutors normally handle these prosecutions. The CPS conduct cases in the Crown Court by either instructing an independent lawyer to act as a prosecuting counsel at court or as of April 2000 under the Access To Justice Act 1999, crown prosecutors with the appropriate qualifications can conduct the cases themselves. ...read more.

Middle

A prosecution will be needed if a conviction is likely to result in a significant sentence. If violence or a weapon was used. the offence was committed against a person serving the public i.e. police. The defendant was in a position of authority i.e. Judge. The defendant was a ringleader of a gang or if the offence was premeditated. (B) In 1981 the Royal commission on criminal procedure a.k.a "Phillips commission" was made due to the concern that the police in England and Wales had a duel role of detecting and prosecuting. In the report it stated that there was no uniform system of prosecuting in England and Wales. There was independent service needed to ensure consistency. Police were too close to the crime. There was a more objective approach needed and there was too many cases being taken to court and being thrown out. So a white paper was made and in 1985 the Prosecution of Offences Act was made. ...read more.

Conclusion

Because of the problems and criticisms of the CPS, a review was established by the attorney general under the Right Honorable Sir Iain Glidewell retired judge. The report was to look at the structure and organization of the CPS and to consider possible changes in the system. This suggests that if the attorney general thinks there is something wrong with the cps then, there really must be something wrong with it i.e. the massive numbers of discontinued cases. When the report was completed some 75 recommendations were made about the way the CPS was running. One of the main recommendations was that there was, "clearly a matter for concern" that 1 in 8 suspects charged by the police later had the cases thrown out by the CPS. The CPS in inevitably putting criminals back on to the streets the police are trying to make safer. Creating more opportunities for these people to commit crimes against the general public. p.s. it's 12:30 at night and I've worked on this all night so I think its REALLY good, night, night! Peter Lyons Assignment 1 23/01/03 ...read more.

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