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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

DPP launches CPS equality and diversity expectations statement for the Bar


The Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, today launched a statement of expectations on equality and diversity which would apply to the Bar when members are working, or seeking to work, for the Crown Prosecution Service.

Sir Ken said: "There are clear benefits in this Expectations Statement, both for the CPS and for the Bar. It is about strengthening the prosecution process by modernising our relationship with the Bar.

"First and foremost we want to use advocates of talent and ability. But this means advocates of talent and ability from all communities.

"We also want to give people an assurance of consistency in our equalities practice. Whether we use a CPS advocate or an external barrister, we expect the same commitment to our policies - including those on hate crime and victim and witness care.

"It is important to us that we inspire the confidence of the communities we serve. People have a legitimate expectation that those prosecuting on behalf of CPS will work to equality and diversity standards. We expect all advocates to support our objectives in this area. We have a growing reputation and we are determined to protect it.

"In many respects, the Expectations Statement is not something wholly new. It builds on earlier joint work on equality and diversity and reflects much of the Bar's own Equality and Diversity Code."

Solicitor General, Mike O'Brien, QC, said: "Our prosecutors are the most visible part of the Service: to people who sit in the public gallery, or on juries, they are the prosecution. It is therefore entirely appropriate that the diversity in the modern day CPS is always reflected to the public at large, whether discharging its duties to justice, victims and witnesses through skilled in-house advocates - or through the specialist services of the modern Bar.

"I therefore welcome and commend the launch of the Expectations Statement, which will allow the CPS to maintain the very best advocacy standards, but to speak always with one voice - a voice that celebrates diversity, proclaims a strong commitment to equality and is never afraid to challenge bigotry, hatred and intolerance."

The CPS Equality and Diversity Expectations Statement for the Bar sets out expectations that Chambers will have an equality and diversity policy in place. It expects that there will be evidence of active implementation in employment and in work allocation, and also evidence of regular review and reporting on progress.

  1. View the CPS Equality and Diversity Expectations Statement for the Bar on this website. Please note that this link will take you to the Publications/Equality and Diversity section.
  2. Speakers at the launch event were Solicitor General Mike O'Brien, QC; Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, Director of Public Prosecutions; Geoffrey Vos, QC, Chair of the Bar Council.
  3. Copies of the DPP's speech are available from CPS Press Office.
  4. For further information contact CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8180.