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Flashcards in CPS Deck (6)
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1

criminal law vs civil law

CRIMINAL LAW
Affects everyone
Brought to court by CPS

CIVIL LAW
Only affects an individual / group
Up to the victims to bring to the court

2

what year did the cps start

1986

3

MAIN DUTIES?

- Advising the police of what charge to bring in serious / complex cases
- Once a defendant is charged / summoned, CPS takes over managing the case through the courts
- Presenting the case for ‘The Crown’ in court, ie providing ‘crown prosecution’ lawyers

4

four areas of activity:

o Central Fraud Division – Complex fraud etc
o International Justice and Organised Crime Division
o Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division – Appeals, counter-terrorism, and special crime eg deaths in custody, public corruption
o Welfare, Rural and Health Division – Benefit fraud, offences investigated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

5

FULL CODE TEST + CONSIDERATIONS

o Sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction?
controversial if case is a serious (eg rape) but there isn’t enough evidence judge / jury can’t convict if there isn’t enough evidence
∴ even if the media / public seem to believe someone is guilty, it is futile + a waste of money to take it to a court where acquittal is the very likely outcome

o Prosecution required in the public interest?
CONSIDERS:
Seriousness of offence – premeditation, and public safeguard
Suspect’s involvement
Hostility based on ethnic or national origin, sex, gender identity, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age
Violation of a position of trust or authority
Age of suspect
National security
Impact of offence on a community
Is prosecution proportionate

6

LIMITATIONS / DEBATES

- Lack of funding
- Rise in certain kinds of crimes (sexual abuse, domestic violence, and terrorism) create special new demands on CPS
- Staff morale issues
- Public confidence
- “Since the inception of the CPS, it has been beset by funding problems and criticisms that it is centralised, bureaucratic, ineffective and too close to the police. The most serious allegation against the CPS is that it has failed to fulfil its function as an independent body from the police, and has acquired a predisposition to prosecute.”

- If a trial occurs but the defendant is found not guilty, did the CPS fail?
- If that hardly ever happens, is that OK?
- If it happens about half the time, is that OK?
- If it happens mostly, is that OK?
- What can we reasonably expect?
- How predictable are trials?