Example Of The Role Of The Crown Prosecution Service In England And Wales In Relation To The Prevention Of Miscarriages Of Justice Literature Review

April 13, 2022 by Essay Writer


The several miscarriages of justice have been determined through the last years within the United Kingdom. However, current judicial system in the country is facing the radical question whether the justice system required the profound reformation. At first it should be said that miscarriage of justice represents the mishap and failure in achievement of certain goal. This failure exists in form of failure to attain the desired result which should be delivered by the state body having the judicial authority. The issue of efficiency in work of the Crown Prosecution Service in the prevention of the miscarriages in justice has not been investgated enough, while in this paper the overview of the main works related to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) performance is presented.

Crown Prosecution Service

In 1986, the Crown Prosecution Service was launched as the independent authority in order to diminish the risk of miscarriages of justice. According to Crisp and Moxon, this service was established under the Prosecution of Offences Act of 1985 so that to conduct the prosecution of the criminal cases which are examined by the police officers located in England and Wales. Tha main idea of the creation of the Crown Prosecution service among other stay bodies is that it has the power to decide whether the person should be prosecuted for certain criminal offence on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service. In addition, the dimension of prosecution depends on the area of the offence as the Crown Prosecution Service is divided into the areas and branches with the Chief Crown Prosecutor ahead the service (Crisp and Moxon, 1994). The notion of the miscarriage of justice was considered at first time during the judicial proceedings in case the Birmingham six. In 1975, six men were sentenced to the life imprisonment in England for the pub bombinds. Although, as the discontent of the public with the judicial system of that time reached the peak, certain measures should be conducted. In this respect, the Crown Prosecution service creation was considered and in 1991 the persons accused in case the Birmingham six were freed as the police officers misused the evidences involved in the case. At the same time, according to the other case “M25 Three”, three men were imprisoned in 1998. Although, in 2000 the case was reconsidered and the convictions of the persons were quashed. The Court of Appeal ordered to free those three men as there was a fact of conspiracy to the perjured evidence.
According to Stockdale, the main responsibility of CPS is to govern the process of prosecution, the state authority has special guidelines to refer to as the Code for Crown Prosecutors in order to define the errors in the judicial system. Before proceeding with the prosecution, the service is obliged to conduct the evaluation whether the case includes enough evidences and the requirements established by such legal act as the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984 are met. Further, the CPS identifies whether the conduction of the prosecution process will amount to the public interest. Besides, it should be said that the Crown Prosecution Service receives the cases from the other state bodies on the regular basis if they are charged by the police officers and deliver the opinion whether the prosecution is needed. At the same time, this service presents these cases before the courts (Stockdale and Jackson, 2015). Meanwhile, in this article the author presents the overview of the recent case with identification of the evidences that may be presented before the Court in order to prove the mental disorder. In this respect, the CPS is shown that it may fulfill the functions related to the prosecution of the cases when the judicial body accepts the evidences that should be regarded as non-admissible.
In contrast, the research conducted by Campbell shows that the Crown Prosecution Service can manage the offences related to the medical sphere. According to author, there are several cases that involve the presentation of the witness statements on behalf of the doctors and other medical experts which to some extent may be wrongful and lead to the unexpected decision of the Court. In this respect, the power of the Crown Prosecution Service is related to the investigation of the initial aim of the expert to present the statement in the court and identify whether the experts have the commercial base for the delivering of the statement (Campbell, n.d.).
However, the report of the Lord of Chancellor of the United Kingdom states on the necessity that the budget expenses for the Crown Prosecution Service financial support should be decreased irrespective of the level of performance. This position is supported by the fact the the United Kingdom accepts the results achieved by the service, while the surrounding environment require the decrease of the staff employed and develop the new strategy that will allow to close certain offices within the country (Nao.org.uk, 1999). To go further, this report reaffirms that the role of the Crown Prosecution Service is improving every year. Since the creation of the authority, the remit has been changed completely as well as the approach to the identification of the miscarriages in justice. Nowadays, the CPS is in power to exercise the surveillance over the charging decision. This decision was agreed in case taking place in 2001, where the shift of powers from the police to CPS was considered (Devine, 2015).


Since 1986 the Crown Prosecution Service has been the subject of numerous investigations and researches. From the early beginning the role of this service was disregarded, while the majority of the state officials believed that the activity of this service will not be efficient enough within prosecution system having the aim to identify the miscarriages of justice. Nowadays, this state body is the most successful one in England in Wales in sphere of determination of the miscarriages in all spheres related to the judicial system irrespective of the subject of the case as the Crown Prosecution Service is divided into subsidiaries and offices operating all over the country.
At the same time, the conducted literature review presents the evidence, that the Crown Prosecution Service is used in the majority cases as the instance as the instrument for the creation of new case law which will be used then in the interpretation of the legal norms in family law, criminal system, etc. Moreover, the CPS is regarded successful in the examination of the evidence that should be regarded admissible before the Court. Moreover, irrespectively of the fact that this spheres is the subject of profound research for several years, the additional investigation of the activity of the service should be provided in order to define how the work of this state body may be reformed and updated in order to adjust the process of the delivering the opinions within the judicial system to the fairest manner. Finally, according to the overview of the several studies and researches, the offices of the Crown Prosecution Service should continue to operate on the loval level as it allows to define the minimal miscarriages in justice. In case the amount of such offices will be decreased, the state should expect that the new miscarriages in justice will appear as the CPS will not be able to identify them due to the exercising its activity in one place and venue.


Campbell, K. (n.d.). Medical mistakes and miscarriages of justice: Perspectives on the experiences in England and Wales. [online] Available at:
https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/inquiries/goudge/policy_research/pdf/CAMPBELL_WALKER.pdf [Accessed 10 Jan. 2016].
Crisp, D. and Moxon, D. (1994). Case screening by the Crown Prosecution Service. London: HMSO.
Devine, L. (2015). Public Family Law cases in the context of Miscarriages of Justice. Argument & Critique. [online] Available at:
http://www.argumentcritique.com/uploads/1/0/3/1/10317653/devine_parker.pdf [Accessed 10 Jan. 2016].
Dwyer, D. (2003). Can a Marriage Be Delayed in the Public Interest So as to Maintain the Compellability of a Prosecution Witness?: R (on the Application of the Crown Prosecution Service) v Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The International Journal of Evidence & Proof, 7(3), pp.191-196.
McFadyean, M. (2013). New guidelines could reduce wrongful convictions under ‘joint enterprise’ law. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/mar/05/joint-enterprise-guidelines-prevent-miscarriages-justice [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].
Nao.org.uk, (1999). Lord Chancellor’s Department, Crown Prosecution Service, Home Office: Criminal Justice: Working Together – National Audit Office (NAO). [online] Available at: https://www.nao.org.uk/report/lord-chancellors-department-crown-prosecution-service-home-office-criminal-justice-working-together/ [Accessed 10 Jan. 2016].
Stockdale, M. and Jackson, A. (2015). Admissibility of Expert Evidence and Criminal Practice Direction Part 33A: R (on the application of Wright) v the Crown Prosecution Service [2015] EWHC 628 (Admin). The Journal of Criminal Law, 79(4), pp.246-249.


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