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25 May 2011
CPS Quality Assurance Scheme for AdvocatesTweet
Following publication of the CPS Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates Stephen Hockman QC, the Head of Chambers, approached both the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General over a number of concerns as to how the scheme would detrimentally affect practitioners at 6 Pump Court. One of these was that the scheme appeared to indicate that those who have built a practice as specialist regulatory prosecutors for the other governmental organisations departments who prosecute in specialist areas such as the Environment Agency or the Rail Regulator or the Health and Safety Executive would need to be graded by the CPS as a grade 3 or 4 prosecutor before they could continue to be considered for such non- CPS prosecution work. This was a particular concern because the CPS scheme and the criteria for grading reflected general mainstream prosecution work and experience with the CPS rather than work in specialist areas for other Government departments. This would have placed specialist regulatory prosecutors at a significant disadvantage when it came to applying to be graded by the CPS on the basis of CPS criteria. Just one example was that most regulatory prosecutors work on a national basis whilst the CPS scheme would be organised around regional lists.
6 Pump Court is pleased to say that in a letter received today the Attorney General makes clear that it is not the case that those who prosecute regulatory in regulatory crime and are on what is currently known as the “Unified Prosecution List” for government departments other than the CPS will have to apply to be graded by the CPS. Whilst the Attorney General indicates that there is a need to consider whether the workings of the Unified List need updating he makes clear that the current arrangements will remain in place until at least the September 2011 and will not thereafter be changed without consultation with the self employed Bar. 6, Pump Court is grateful for this clarification and considers that the preservation of prosecutors with specialist experience in regulatory crime remains in the interests of those government departments other than the CPS who need to prosecute as part of their regulatory function and in the public interest.
On behalf of 6 Pump Court and with the assistance of solicitors Kingsley Napley, Stephen Hockman QC is continuing to raise concerns over other aspects of the CPS scheme.