Law Essay – Describe/Critically Examine/Evaluate the role of the CPS The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the body responsible for bringing state-led prosecutions of criminal offences in both Magistrates and Crown courts (in England and Wales). It is a government department set up for this purpose and it has brought about the separation of the tasks of apprehending suspects and gathering of evidence (which continues to be performed by the police services from the task of preparing cases for and presenting them in Court, i.e. the trial process. PARAGRAPH 2 – HISTORY
The CPS was set up by statute in 1985 and began operating in 1986. Prior to this, the police carried out all the functions it still has as well as bringing and conducting the prosecutions. The Prosecution of Offences Act created the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). It established the Director of Public Prosecutions as the head of a Department which incorporated the Department of the DPP and existing Police Prosecuting Solicitor’s Departments. Before 1986 prosecutions brought by the state were normally conducted by the police. This led to criticism as it was thought that the investigation of the crime should be separate from the prosecution of cases. They said this in 1970 where the Justice report was released and certain problems were outlined with the police making the decision to prosecute such as; prosecution bias, potential infringement of right to a fair trial and conflict of interests the same body investigating and prosecuting. In 1978, Phillips Royal Commission recommended there be an independent agency to take charge of prosecution of suspects. Prosecution of Offences Act established the Crown Prosecution Service. Deemed beneficial because it is fairer on the prosecuted and it shares power and doesn’t give the police too much power in regards to the law and order in the country.
PARAGRAPH 3The CPS follows a “Full Code Test” to decide whether or not to prosecute a particular defendant for particular offenses. The test is based on two aspects: ‘evidential test’ and ‘Public interest test’. In order for a case to be moved onto the public test, it must first pass the evidential case, in a given situation where a case where a case fails the evidential test, then the case will proceed no further. PARAGRAPH 4
Evidential test – The evidential test is essentially something that is checked by the CPS that there is enough evidence that there is not only a lot of evidence, but also that it is reliable, sufficient and admissible. It is an objective test. Examples of unreliable evidence consist of: blurred CCTW, confession obtained by oppression, hearsay, eyewitness testimony of a child, Damilola Taylor – unreliable witnesses and inadmissible evidence made the case the question of an investigation. Examples of reliable evidence are things such as: DNA evidence, voluntary confession and an eyewitness from the scene of a crime.
PARAGRAPH 5Public interest test can only be carried out if the case passes the Evidential Test. PARAGRAPH 6The tests applied by the CPS are carried out in every case in all parts of the jurisdiction. This means that the same standard is applied in all cases and brings uniformity. This should overcome the problems of… PARAGRAPH 7
Reforms of the CPS. Glidewell. Auld. (Possibly Narey). Keir Slauer – Vision 2009. “Setting the standard” PARAGRAPH 8Sum up the answer to the question. What were the original problems? What other problems have arised. How has the system been reformed/developed to deal with these issues?