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Prosecution of Offences Act 1985

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Constitution and functions of Service

1The Crown Prosecution Service

(1)There shall be a prosecuting service for England and Wales (to be known as the " Crown Prosecution Service ") consisting of—

(a)the Director of Public Prosecutions, who shall be head of the Service;

(b)the Chief Crown Prosecutors, designated under subsection (4) below, each of whom shall be the member of the Service responsible to the Director for supervising the operation of the Service in his area ; and

(c)the other staff appointed by the Director under this section.

(2)The Director shall appoint such staff for the Service as, with the approval of the Treasury as to numbers, remuneration and other terms and conditions of service, he considers necessary for the discharge of his functions.

(3)The Director may designate any member of the Service who is a barrister or solicitor for the purposes of this subsection, and any person so designated shall be known as a Crown Prosecutor.

(4)The Director shall divide England and Wales into areas and, for each of those areas, designate a Crown Prosecutor for the purposes of this subsection and any person so designated shall be known as a Chief Crown Prosecutor.

(5)The Director may, from time to time, vary the division of England and Wales made for the purposes of subsection (4) above.

(6)Without prejudice to any functions which may have been assigned to him in his capacity as a member of the Service, every Crown Prosecutor shall have all the powers of the Director as to the institution and conduct of proceedings but shall exercise those powers under the direction of the Director.

(7)Where any enactment (whenever passed)—

(a)prevents any step from being taken without the consent of the Director or without his consent or the consent of another; or

(b)requires any step to be taken by or in relation to the Director;

any consent given by or, as the case may be, step taken by or in relation to, a Crown Prosecutor shall be treated, for the purposes of that enactment, as given by or, as the case may be, taken by or in relation to the Director.

2The Director of Public Prosecutions

(1)The Director of Public Prosecutions shall be appointed by the Attorney General.

(2)The Director must be a barrister or solicitor of not less than ten years' standing.

(3)There shall be paid to the Director such remuneration as the Attorney General may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine.

3Functions of the Director

(1)The Director shall discharge his functions under this or any other enactment under the superintendence of the Attorney General.

(2)It shall be the duty of the Director—

(a)to take over the conduct of all criminal proceedings,

other than specified proceedings, instituted on behalf of a police force (whether by a member of that force or by any other person);

(b)to institute and have the conduct of criminal proceedings in any case where it appears to him that—

(i)the importance or difficulty of the case makes it appropriate that proceedings should be instituted by him; or

(ii)it is otherwise appropriate for proceedings to be instituted by him ;

(c)to take over the conduct of all binding over proceedings instituted on behalf of a police force (whether by a member of that force or by any other person);

(d)to take over the conduct of all proceedings begun by summons issued under section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959 (forfeiture of obscene articles);

(e)to give, to such extent as he considers appropriate, advice to police forces on all matters relating to criminal offences;

(f)to appear for the prosecution, when directed by the court to do so, on any appeal under—

(i)section 1 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 (appeal from the High Court in criminal cases);

(ii)Part I or Part II of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 (appeals from the Crown Court to the criminal division of the Court of Appeal and thence to the House of Lords); or

(jii) section 108 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (right of appeal to Crown Court) as it applies, by virtue of subsection (5) of section 12 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, to orders made under section 12 (contempt of magistrates' courts); and

(g)to discharge such other functions as may from time to time be assigned to him by the Attorney General in pursuance of this paragraph.

(3)In this section—

  • " the court " means—

    (a)

    (a) in the case of an appeal to or from the criminal division of the Court of Appeal, that division ;

    (b)

    (b) in the case of an appeal from a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division, the Divisional Court; and

    (c)

    (c) in the case of an appeal against an order of a magistrates' court, the Crown Court;

  • " police force " means any police force maintained by a police authority under the Police Act 1964 and any other body of constables for the time being specified by order made by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section ; and

  • " specified proceedings" means proceedings which fall within any category for the time being specified by order made by the Attorney General for the purposes of this section.

(4)The power to make orders under subsection (3) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

4Crown Prosecutors

(1)Crown Prosecutors shall have, in any court, the rights of audience enjoyed by solicitors holding practising certificates and shall have such additional rights of audience in the Crown Court as may be given by virtue of subsection (3) below.

(2)The reference in subsection (1) above to rights of audience enjoyed in any court by solicitors includes a reference to rights enjoyed in the Crown Court by virtue of any direction given by the Lord Chancellor under section 83 of the Supreme Court Act 1981.

(3)For the purpose of giving Crown Prosecutors additional rights of audience in the Crown Court, the Lord Chancellor may give any such direction as respects Crown Prosecutors as he could give under section 83 of the Act of 1981 in respect of solicitors.

(4)In section 88 of the Solicitors Act 1974 (which, amongst other things, provides that solicitors in public departments are not required to hold practising certificates) the following subsection shall be inserted after subsection (1)—

(1A)The exemption from the requirement to hold a practising certificate conferred by subsection (1) above shall not apply to solicitors who are Crown Prosecutors.

(5)In section 11 of the Act of 1974 (fees payable on issue of practising certificates), the following subsection shall be inserted after subsection (2)—

(2A)An order under subsection (1) may specify reduced fees for practising certificates which are issued to solicitors who are Crown Prosecutors.

(6)In Schedule 2 to the Act of 1974 (the compensation fund), in paragraph 2, for the words " sub-paragraph (2)" there shall be substituted the words

sub-paragraphs (2) and (2A)and after sub-paragraph (2) there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph—

(2A)Sub-paragraph (1) above shall not apply to any solicitor who is a Crown Prosecutor.

5Conduct of prosecutions on behalf of the Service

(1)The Director may at any time appoint a person who is not a Crown Prosecutor but who is—

(a)a solicitor ; or

(b)a barrister who is a member of the staff of a public authority;

to institute or take over the conduct of such criminal proceedings as the Director may assign to him.

(2)Any person conducting proceedings assigned to him under this section shall have all the powers of a Crown Prosecutor but shall exercise those powers subject to any instructions given to him by a Crown Prosecutor.

6Prosecutions instituted and conducted otherwise than by the Service

(1)Subject to subsection (2) below, nothing in this Part shall preclude any person from instituting any criminal proceedings or conducting any criminal proceedings to which the Director's duty to take over the conduct of proceedings does not apply.

(2)Where criminal proceedings are instituted in circumstances in which the Director is not under a duty to take over their conduct, he may nevertheless do so at any stage.

7Delivery of recognizances etc. to Director

(1)Where the Director or any Crown Prosecutor gives notice to any justice of the peace that he has instituted, or is conducting, any criminal proceedings, the justice shall—

(a)at the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner; or

(b)in a particular case, at the time and in the manner directed by the Attorney General;

send him every recognizance, information, certificate, deposition, document and thing connected with those proceedings which the justice is required by law to deliver to the appropriate officer of the Crown Court.

(2)The Attorney General may make regulations for the purpose of supplementing this section; and in subsection (1) above " prescribed " means prescribed by the regulations.

(3)The Director or, as the case may be, Crown Prosecutor shall—

(a)subject to the regulations, cause anything which is sent to him under subsection (1) above to be delivered to the appropriate officer of the Crown Court; and

(b)be under the same obligation (on the same payment) to deliver to an applicant copies of anything so sent as that officer.

(4)It shall be the duty of every justices' clerk to send to the Director, in accordance with the regulations, a copy of the information and of any depositions and other documents relating to any case in which—

(a)a prosecution for an offence before the magistrates' court to which he is clerk is withdrawn or is not proceeded with within a reasonable time ;

(b)the Director does not have the conduct of the proceedings ; and

(c)there is some ground for suspecting that there is no satisfactory reason for the withdrawal or failure to proceed.

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