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The Code for Crown Prosecutors

The Code for Crown Prosecutors is arguably the key document which prosecutors use in their work. Once a charging decision has been made, the CPS must decide whether a prosecution should go ahead.

You might recall Patrick - in the earlier video - noting that the decision to prosecute involves asking two questions:

  • First, is there enough evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction?
  • Then, is a prosecution in the public interest?

These are referred to as the evidential sufficiency and public interest tests.

The Code explains the tests in more detail.

Try to familiarise yourself with the structure of the two tests. What kind of questions do Crown Prosecutors ask themselves in order to determine whether each test has been satisfied?

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This article is from the free online course:

From Crime to Punishment: an Introduction to Criminal Justice

University of York