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Chapter

This chapter examines whether the combination of laws, policies, and procedures of different prosecuting and enforcement agencies is fair, effective, and freedom-enhancing. It discusses the respective roles of the police and Crown Prosecution Service in prosecution decision-making; how cases are constructed for prosecution; the criteria for prosecution decision-making; diversion from prosecution; review of prosecution decisions and accountability; and different treatment of ‘regulatory’ offences and ‘real’ crime.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on the decisions taken by the gatekeepers of the criminal process. It first outlines the role of the police, followed by a comparison with the approach of regulatory bodies as agencies that select for official action certain types of person or situation—a selection that may lead either to prosecution and trial or to a form of diversion. The chapter then considers the range of formal responses to those who are believed to be offenders, including police cautions and other out-of-court disposals. It examines the problematic dimensions of diversion, before examining accountability and the values behind some of the differing policies.

Chapter

This chapter outlines the origins and functions of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), before moving on to discuss several aspects of the prosecutorial function in the criminal process, in the belief that the decision to prosecute someone in itself is a form of imposition by the state that requires justification. The principle of equality of treatment is discussed throughout the chapter, not least in relation to the differences of approach taken by different prosecuting agencies. The chapter evaluates some of the practices of the CPS and examines empirical evidence of its performance of various tasks. It notes that, as with other large organizations, formulating principles and guidance satisfactorily is not sufficient to ensure that implementation in practice. The role of the CPS in refining and defining the criminal law is examined as well as the role of the victim, review and oversight of prosecution decisions and policies and prosecutorial ethics.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter on the criminal justice system focuses on preliminary issues, ie some of the issues that take place before trial begins. A prosecution begins at the earliest stage through a defendant being charged by the police but under the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS must then review the decision to prosecute, which requires the CPS to have reference to two prosecution tests (evidential and public interest tests). The CPS has the ability to issue out of court disposals in appropriate cases as alternatives to prosecution. If a prosecution does take place it is necessary to identify in which court the proceedings will be heard. Crimes are divided into three categories: summary, indictable-only, and either-way. Criminal matters are heard in the magistrates’ court and the Crown Court and the categorization of offences has an impact on where the matter should be heard.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter on the criminal justice system focuses on preliminary issues, i.e. some of the issues that take place before trial begins. A prosecution begins at the earliest stage through a defendant being charged by the police but under the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS must then review the decision to prosecute, which requires the CPS to have reference to two prosecution tests (evidential and public interest tests). The CPS has the ability to issue out of court disposals in appropriate cases as alternatives to prosecution. If a prosecution does take place it is necessary to identify in which court the proceedings will be heard. Crimes are divided into three categories: summary, indictable-only, and either-way. Criminal matters are heard in the magistrates’ court and the Crown Court and the categorization of offences has an impact on where the matter should be heard.

Chapter

This chapter examines whether the combination of laws, policies, and procedures of different prosecuting and enforcement agencies is fair and effective, and why an overwhelming proportion of defendants plead guilty. It discusses the respective roles of the police and Crown Prosecution Service in prosecution decision-making; how cases are constructed for prosecution; the criteria for prosecution decision-making; diversion from prosecution; review of prosecution decisions; the different treatment of ‘regulatory’ offences and ‘real’ crime; the roles of police, prosecutors, judges and defence lawyers in persuading defendants to plead guilty; the incentives, even for the innocent, to plead guilty; whether plea bargaining should be abolished.

Chapter

This chapter, which examines the role of the criminal justice system in England and Wales, begins with a short overview of the system as a whole, followed by individual sections on its main components. These include the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the courts, the sentencing and the correctional system, the youth justice system, and the right of appeal.

Chapter

This chapter first explains the role of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the factors that are taken into account when deciding to charge a suspect or to divert him from prosecution. It then examines the important obligations which are placed upon the CPS both at common law and under statute to serve pre-trial disclosure of evidence upon the defendant and their importance to the right to a fair trial. Defence disclosure obligations are also considered.

Chapter

This chapter first explains the role of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the factors that are taken into account when deciding to charge a suspect or to divert him from prosecution. It then examines the important obligations which are placed upon the CPS both at common law and under statute to serve pre-trial disclosure of evidence upon the defendant and their importance to the right to a fair trial. Defence disclosure obligations are also considered.

Chapter

This chapter explores the criminal justice institutions. In practice, the criminal justice system contains five distinct institutions that are responsible for delivering justice: the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (known as the CPS), the courts, probation providers, and prisons. Although they are all part of one overall system, each has different aims, roles, and challenges. Theoretically, the fact that these bodies are all accountable to the separation of powers concept should bring some unity in that it gives Parliament, the independent judiciary, and central government opportunities to shape the system to align with their version of justice. The government can exert considerable influence through the work of the Ministry of Justice or MoJ. The MoJ is currently the most important governmental agency in the criminal justice system, but the larger and more powerful Home Office is also involved to an extent, mainly with the police.

Chapter

This chapter examines the source and changing nature of the fundamental principles of criminal justice. It begins by considering a process of change for criminal justice featuring four factors labelled as ‘game changers’ — principles, policies, practices, and people — with a particular focus on principles. It then discusses the importance of the rule of law doctrine and some of its key features, including parliamentary sovereignty, separation of powers, an independent judiciary, due process, and human rights. It also explores the essential features of an adversarial justice system and the restorative justice principle and concludes with an assessment of the roles of the police, the courts, and the Crown Prosecution Service in the criminal justice system.

Chapter

This chapter explains the procedure on passing sentence and the general principles that govern a court’s decision when passing sentence. It discusses the role of the Crow Prosecution Service (CPS) on sentence; the procedure on sentencing; hierarchy of sentences; sentencing aims; the basis of sentencing under the Criminal Justice Act 2003; Sentencing Council for England and Wales; sentencing guidelines in the Crown Court; how the defence solicitor assesses the seriousness of an offence; Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines (MCSGs); the importance of the pre—sentence report, personal offender mitigation; discount for timely guilty pleas; the Crown Court’s sentencing powers; victim impact statements; and taking other offences into consideration.

Chapter

This chapter explains the procedure on passing sentence and the general principles that govern a court’s decision when passing sentence. It discusses the role of the Crow Prosecution Service (CPS) on sentence; the procedure on sentencing; hierarchy of sentences; sentencing aims; the basis of sentencing under the Criminal Justice Act 2003; Sentencing Council for England and Wales; sentencing guidelines in the Crown Court; how the defence solicitor assesses the seriousness of an offence; Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines (MCSGs); the importance of the pre—sentence report, personal offender mitigation; discount for timely guilty pleas; the Crown Court’s sentencing powers; victim impact statements; and taking other offences into consideration.