HL Deb 04 April 2000 vol 611 c119WA
Baroness Whitaker

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress is being made concerning the review of the Code for Crown Prosecutors. [HL1715]

The Attorney-General (Lord Williams of Mostyn)

On 24 November 1999 (Official Report, col. 105W) the Solicitor-General announced in another place that the Code for Crown Prosecutors would be reviewed to take account of the Human Rights Act. The aim of the review is to ensure that the Code for Crown Prosecutors is relevant, clear and accessible, properly considers the rights and interests of victims and reflects the exercise of the statutory functions of Crown Prosecutors. The review will take into account legislative changes since 1994, particularly the Human Rights Act, changes to the structure of the CPS and procedural changes to the criminal justice system.

The review team has now been established and will be writing to organisations and individuals with an interest in the code asking for comments. The review team also invites views from the general public, who may write to their local Chief Crown Prosecutors or write to or e-mail CPS Headquarters. Information on the code and the review can be found on the CPS website at www.cps.gov.uk.

It is important that the code supports the CPS's commitment to excellence of decision-making, improving victims' and witnesses' experiences of the criminal justice system and pursuing a partnership approach within the criminal justice system while maintaining its independence in decisions on casework.

The Solicitor-General and I welcome this review and will be taking a close interest both in its progress and any major issues that may arise.