§ Lord Molloy
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will consider overhauling the Crown Prosecution Service in the light of recent serious complaints.
§ The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern)
No. The principles and policies which led to the establishment of the Crown Prosecution Service in its present form remain sound.
As my right honourable and learned friend the Attorney General announced in another place earlier this week, the Director of Public Prosecutions has in hand a number of measures to meet present criticisms of aspects of its work. The code for Crown Prosecutors is to be reviewed so as to make it a document more easily understood by police officers and non-lawyers. There will be consultation with the police, the legal profession and others. The fundamental principles of the code—that is, that there should be sufficient evidence to afford a realistic prospect of conviction and that the prosecution should be in the public interest, remain sound but what is meant by realistic prospect of conviction can be clarified and the public interest factors in favour of prosecution brought out more clearly.
Furthermore, my right honourable and learned friend the Attorney General also explained in the other place that the Director has in hand a survey to analyse cases discontinued in November and the reasons for their discontinuance and, with effect from 1 October 1993, had already set in hand new management structures both to oversee local casework decision making and to enhance the training of Crown Prosecutors in this area.
These measures will together complement the large amount of work already done to build up and strengthen the Crown Prosecution Service.