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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

CPS Advocate Panels update


Keith Milburn, Head of the CPS Court Business Unit, said: "In May 2011 the Crown Prosecution Service launched its Advocate Panel scheme and invited advocates to submit written applications to join the Advocate Panel. About 3,000 advocates have applied.

"The CPS has now concluded the assessment phase of the scheme and will shortly be undertaking the moderation exercise. After this has been completed the Advocate Panels will be finalised taking into account applicants' first and second choice Circuits.

"The results of the scheme for the general crime and rape panels will be notified directly to applicants by email during the first two weeks of January 2012. Please note that the assessment process for the specialist panels (Fraud, Extraditions etc) will commence once the results for the general crime and rape panels have been announced.

"The Advocate Panel is a new process for the selection of external advocates to undertake prosecution advocacy on behalf of the CPS. All advocates being instructed to undertake prosecution work in the Crown Court (and Higher Courts) from 2012 must be members of the new, quality-controlled CPS Advocate Panel."