HC Deb 20 July 1998 vol 316 cc392-3W
Mr. Cranston

To ask the Attorney-General how many barristers over six years call were employed as lawyers by the Crown Prosecution Service during each of the years 1993 to 1997. [50096]

The Attorney-General

On 1 April of each year, the Crown Prosecution Service employed the following number of barristers with over six years' call:

1993 205
1994 284
1995 393
1996 441
1997 513

Mr. Dismore

To ask the Attorney-General what assistance is given to unqualified Crown Prosecution staff to develop their careers, with particular reference to obtaining formal legal qualifications; and if he will make a statement. [50145]

The Attorney-General

The Crown Prosecution Service offers a number of training contracts to law students leading to professional status as barristers and solicitors through its Legal Trainee Recruitment Schemes. Approximately one-third of the available places have been allocated to staff in the CPS enabling them to achieve professional qualifications and appointments as Crown Prosecutors.

There are also a number of other development opportunities available which include: A two level Casework Officer Training Scheme designed jointly with the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX). The first level comprises nine modules covering general legal procedures such as committals, indictments and trial procedure. Level two is a two year course which provides more advanced legal training and can lead to exemption from the ILEX paper on criminal law. A range of in-house courses and distance learning packages offered to develop expertise on a number of legal and non-legal subjects. In addition, sponsorship is available for a range of external qualifications including NVQ's and the Institute of Legal Executives. The Crown Prosecution Service also takes part in the Prince's Trust Volunteer Programme which aims to help 16 to 25 year olds to develop their personal skills through practical teamwork in the community. A training programme is also being prepared for the Designated Caseworkers who will be undertaking the review and presentation of cases in the Reducing Delay pilots at selected CPS branch sites commencing October 1998.

Mr. Cranston

To ask the Attorney-General how many registered pupil masters were employed by the Crown Prosecution Service; and how many pupils were trained by those pupil masters in each year since 1993. [50097]

The Attorney-General

The Crown Prosecution Service does not keep historic records of the number of registered pupil masters. However, on 1 July 1998, it employed 98 pupil masters who are registered with the Bar Council.

Similarly, the Crown Prosecution Service does not hold records to show the number of pupils trained by its employed pupil masters. However, the number of pupils employed by the Crown Prosecution Service in each year since 1993 is:

Year Number
1993 23
1994 11
1995 4
1996 1
1997 3
1998 0