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The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

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Introduction

Before 1986 the police dealt with all prosecutions brought forward. However, this became a critical issue as it was argued that the organisation dealing with the crime enquiry should be independent from the organisation dealing with the prosecution. Inattention of the prosecutions dealt by the police, the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure concluded after a report that it would be beneficial if the prosecutions were a self-governing establishment. After the analysis of the report the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was finally set up and began running in 1986. The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 established it. As from 1986 all prosecutions were done by the CPS, which meant the police and the CPS now conducted different roles within the criminal justice system. The head of the CPS is the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). The Attorney General appoints the DPP, who must be a qualified lawyer for at least 10years. Below the DPP are the Chief Crown Prosecutors who are head of one of the 42 areas of which the country is dived up and below them is the Branch Crown Prosecutors who head their sub-divided CPS branch. Within the legal system the police have the duty to obtain as much evidence against a defendant. Once gaining all relevant evidence, they have the option of doing any of the following with the suspect. ...read more.

Middle

However there are factors that increase the chances of a prosecution to take place. There are a vast amount of issues in favour of a prosecution that will help aid for a trial to begin. Some of the factors are, if a weapon is used or violence was threatened during the offence, the conviction is likely to be a heavy sentence, the evidence shows that the defendant was the ringleader or the organiser and last but not least the evidence shows that the offence was premeditated. Whilst analysing the factors the CPS have to carefully study each factor that has been weighed out in each individual case. From this they have to make an overall decision as to whether the case should carry on for prosecution. Once the case passes the tests successfully the CPS now have the job to decide on which charges to continue the case with. The CPS have to decide on an adequate charge, which reflects on the seriousness of the offender. The CPS should also present the case in a simple and clear manner and give the court adequate sentencing powers. Once the charge has been decided the CPS now have to prosecute the case in court. The CPS may come across a defendant who wishes to plead guilty. In Circumstances of such the CPS should never accept guilty plea on the basis of it being convenient, as they still have to consider whether the court will be able to pass a sentence depending on the seriousness of the crime. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are independent from the police, however still dependant on the organisation to retrieve the crime evidence. So it can be argued to what length are the two organisations independent? All the CPS organisations throughout Wales and England adapt the same set of rules whilst reviewing a case. The code of practice that all CPS refer to whilst reviewing a case has stemmed from the number of case discontinuations. All CPS now review the code to ensure that cases are being reviewed accordingly and to decrease the amount of case acquittals. The CPS needs to consider changing the structure of the CPS. We can see that some of the branches throughout England and Wales do not receive new work instructions due to the delay of them coming down through the structure. It can be argued that this situation is unjust as parts of Wales and England are working slightly different to other parts when they should all be working with the same guidelines. As we can see that the CPS have been downgraded in a number of Issues and the questions now lies, how hey are going to overcome such problems. However in the future new acts may be enforced or amended for the improvement of the CPS within the criminal justice system. But it can still be argued even though such acts may be enforced or amended, to what extent are they going to be implemented by the Crown Prosecution Service? ...read more.

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An excellent essay, considering all of the key issues.

The conclusion is a little unfocused, however.

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Marked by teacher Edward Smith 07/08/2013

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