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NCJ Number: 62990 Find in a Library
Title: EVIDENCE TO THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, MEMORANDUM NO EIGHT - THE PROSECUTION PROCESS - ENGLAND
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Great Britain Home Office
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 55
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
London, SW1H 9AT, England
Great Britain Home Office
London, SWIH 9AT, England
Sale Source: Great Britain Home Office
Pub. Home Office Library
Room 1001 Home Office
Queen Anne's Gate
London, SWIH 9AT,
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: EXISTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR PROSECUTIONS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM ARE DESCRIBED, SOME OF THE CRITICISMS OF THE PRESENT SYSTEM ARE IDENTIFIED, AND ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST CHANGE ARE PRESENTED.
Abstract: UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM, PROSECUTING SOLICITORS' DEPARTMENTS HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED IN 32 OUT OF 43 POLICE FORCES, BUT THE ARRANGEMENTS DIFFER FROM ONE AREA TO ANOTHER. MOST PROSECUTING SOLICITORS ARE ON THE STAFFS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS OR POLICE AGENCIES. IT IS NOT KNOWN WITH ACCURACY TO WHAT EXTENT SOLICITORS ARE INVOLVED IN THE DECISION TO PROSECUTE OR IMPLEMENT A DECISION TAKEN BY THE POLICE. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONDUCTING CASES IN COURT ALSO VARIES FROM ONE JURISDICTION TO ANOTHER. IN SUMMARY CASES IN MAGISTRATES' COURTS, POLICE OFFICERS THEMSELVES MAY PROSECUTE, PRIVATE SOLICITORS MAY BE EMPLOYED BY THE POLICE, A PROSECUTING SOLICITOR MAY CONTRACT WORK TO LOCAL SOLICITORS, OR THERE MAY BE A PROSECUTING SOLICITOR'S DEPARTMENT WITH A SUBSTANTIAL STAFF. THE HOME OFFICE ENCOURAGES EACH POLICE FORCE TO HAVE A PROSECUTING SOLICITORS' DEPARTMENT, WHICH MAY BE ABLE TO ADVISE ON THE DECISION TO BRING PROSECUTION AND CONDUCT CASES FOR THE POLICE IN COURT. HOWEVER, IF POLICE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROSECUTING, CHIEF CONSTABLES ARE NOT OBLIGED TO REFER CASES TO PROSECUTING SOLICITORS' DEPARTMENTS. THERE IS ALSO DISSATISFACTION WITH PROSECUTING SOLICITORS BEING EMPLOYED BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN THE AREAS OF OPERATIONAL INDEPENDENCE AND CONFLICTING PRIORITIES. THE ALTERNATIVE IS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONALLY ADMINISTERED SYSTEM, WHICH MIGHT TAKE THE FORM OF A CENTRALIZED SYSTEM OR A REGIONALIZED AND EXTENDED DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS' DEPARTMENT. UNDER SUCH A SYSTEM, DEBATE WOULD FOCUS ON WHETHER ITS CONTROL SHOULD EXTEND TO PRIVATE PROSECUTIONS AND THOSE UNDERTAKEN BY GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES. THE APPENDIXES LIST THE LOCATIONS OF PROSECUTING SOLICITORS' DEPARTMENTS AND DISCUSS THE PROSECUTION PROCESSES IN SCOTLAND AND IRELAND. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Law reform; Prosecution; Prosecutors; United Kingdom (UK)
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62990

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