CPS prosecutors end crown court advocacy ban

CPS prosecutors have given David Calvert-Smith QC a flying start as the new Director of Public Prosecutions by voting to end their six month long crown court advocacy boycott.

The ballot, staged by the CPS branch of The Association of First Division Civil Servants (FDA), also saw prosecutors withdraw their objections to a government pilot scheme to test controversial proposals to speed up justice in the magistrates courts.

The move marks a thawing of relations between CPS lawyers and senior management, who were at loggerheads during Dame Barbara Mills QC's time as DPP.

The ballot was held to gauge support for new terms for the deployment of CPS advocates in the crown court and the implementation of two elements of the pilot scheme – the provision of out-of-hours advice by CPS prosecutors and the use of non-lawyers to prosecute cases.

The FDA called for the advocacy boycott last May because of a dispute over pay. Under the deal, advocates will get an extra £1,000.

The pilot scheme began in six magistrates courts last month, but was being delayed by the FDA's refusal to co-operate.