Unease in the CPS

The Government's move to allow non-lawyers to prosecute uncontested cases in the magistrates courts has rightly received much criticism – particularly for the way the decision was announced (or rather not announced) by the Government.

The First Division Association's CPS section was understandably peeved that it was forced to go on a "paper chase" to uncover news of the proposed major shake-up.

There is also widespread surprise that the Government would opt for the proposals in the controversial Narey report at a time when it had commissioned an independent report on the CPS.

The difficulties with uncontested cases are well known, as are the problems for CPS independence by having a permanent CPS presence at police stations. All in all, the whole affair seems less than satisfactory.