Justice Committee

Press notice No. 23 of Session 2007-08

3 April 2008 / For Immediate Release



The Justice Committee today launches an inquiry into the work of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS has been unusually in the public eye over the last year as controversies have arisen over the role of the Attorney General as its superintendent. The role of the Attorney General is once again under consideration in the new Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill. The duties of the Attorney General as superintendent of the prosecution authorities will be an important aspect of the inquiry.

The Crown Prosecution Service is in many ways as integral a part of the criminal justice system as the police, the courts or prison and probation services€”determining what an offender is charged with in all but the most minor of cases.

The Justice Committee therefore wishes to conduct an inquiry into the work of the Crown Prosecution Service. The Committee is seeking written submissions addressing the Terms of Reference below by 15 May.

The inquiry will look particularly at:

1) How the CPS contributes to, and fits into the Criminal Justice System€”how does it relate to and share information with the police, courts and other services, how does it work with other prosecution agencies such as the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office, what is its role as regards Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, is there an effective balance between holding it accountable and maintaining its independence, what is the role of the Attorney General?

2) How effectively does the CPS operate and serve its customers€”how does it communicate with victims and witnesses, how does it relate to local communities, is it providing a timely and consistent service across the country, do the different staff functions support effective case management, is decision-making on charges or whether to prosecute effective, how is it managing key areas such as prosecuting rape and domestic violence?

The inquiry will not consider decisions to prosecute in individual cases.

Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format€”not PDF format€”and sent by e-mail to [email protected] The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. THE DEADLINE IS THURSDAY 15 MAY 2008.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum and should be no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/witness.cfm.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.


The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send
their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail.

1. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon Alan Beith MP (Chairman), Mr David Heath MP, Daniel Kawczynski MP, Siân James MP, Jessica Morden MP, Julie Morgan MP, Rt Hon Alun Michael MP, Robert Neill MP, Dr Nick Palmer MP, Linda Riordan MP, Virendra Sharma MP, Mr Andrew Turner MP, Mr Andrew Tyrie MP and Dr Alan Whitehead MP

2. The Committee published a Report on The Constitutional Role of the Attorney General (Fifth Report, Session 2006-07 (HC 306) on 19 July 2007

Further Information:
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Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 8196/ 8198, email: [email protected]

Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/justicecom

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