Bereaved Families - Guidance on CPS service to bereaved families in homicide cases
- Deaths in custody cases
- CPS service to bereaved families
- Liaison with the police
- Purpose of the Meeting
- Who should attend?
- Meeting prior to or following a charging decision
- Explaining the purpose of the VPS scheme
- Meeting with Trial Advocate
- Speaking to Witnesses at Court
- Meeting if charges are discontinued or substantially altered, or left to lie on file
- Meeting following conviction
- National Standards of Support
- Meeting following acquittal or conviction on a less serious charge
- Joint CPS/Police case review meeting (in murder case following acquittal of all defendants)
- Meeting following sentence
- Meeting following leave to appeal being granted
- Meeting following reconsideration of a case after acquittal ('double jeopardy')
- Local road traffic protocols
The CPS offers an enhanced service to bereaved families and will offer to meet them at key stages of the CJS process, commencing with an explanation of the charging decision through to supporting bereaved families where cases progress to the Court of Appeal.
The enhanced pre-charge procedures for holding meetings in deaths in custody cases will continue to apply.
The service should be applied to all qualifying cases.
CPS commitments to the bereaved as set out below, are incorporated in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims' Code). The commitments are reflected in Chapter 2 Part B and are now on a statutory footing.
Prosecutors will offer to meet bereaved families in homicide cases at important stages of the CJS process to explain the anticipated progress of the case, what is expected to happen at each court hearing and the possible sentences available for the offences charged. The term 'family' includes relatives and partners (including same sex partners).
The categories of offence ("qualifying offences") are:
- corporate manslaughter;
- familial homicide;
- causing death by dangerous driving;
- causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink or drugs;
- causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving;
- causing death by driving whilst unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured; and
- aggravated vehicle taking where death is caused
The above offences must have been committed or prosecuted in England or Wales to qualify for the scheme.
Deaths in custody cases
The enhanced pre-charge procedures for holding meetings in deaths in custody cases should continue to be followed, but prosecutors should comply with this guidance in cases where a qualifying charge is brought.
CPS service to bereaved families
This guidance sets out the minimum standard of service to bereaved families. Areas/Divisions should not feel constrained from doing more if it is necessary to do so, having regard to the particular circumstances of the case.
Meetings will be offered in all qualifying cases, unless there are very exceptional reasons not to do so - it is expected that these will normally relate to issues of security and safety. In such cases, the decision not to offer a meeting must be made by the CCP and the reasons for doing so endorsed clearly on CMS using the "Add Communication" function.
In every case, communication should be by letter, sent via the Family Liaison Officer, and care should be taken to ensure that all correspondence is appropriately personalised and addressed to the correct individual(s).
Wherever possible the same prosecutor (ideally the reviewing lawyer) should be allocated throughout the life of the case and should be present at all relevant court hearings and subsequent meetings with family representatives. However, it is acknowledged that this continuity of contact for the bereaved family may not always be possible, particularly where the defendant elects, or the magistrates direct that a case be committed to the Crown Court.
It is important that the relevant Global Monitoring Codes (i.e. National flags on CMS) are applied to cases involving bereaved families. This will enable the prosecutor or the Victim Liaison Unit to record the contact that has been made with the family (letters, telephone calls) or meetings which have taken place.
Liaison with the police
Bereaved close relatives are entitled to have a Family Liaison Officer (FLO) assigned where appropriate (Victims' Code Chapter 2 Part A). Accordingly, unless the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) considers it inappropriate or the family do not wish it, in all qualifying offences a FLO will have been appointed from the outset. In all FLO deployments the FLO will be tasked to carry out research into the appropriate family member before their deployment into the family. The FLO will also act as the point of contact for communicating prosecution decisions to the family as well as taking any Victim Personal Statement (VPS).
It is important for the FLO to provide contact details for the bereaved family representatives and any significant differences of opinion which may exist between members of the family. This will enable the prosecutor to correctly address and personalise correspondence (as above) and consider whether they should hold separate meetings. The FLO will also be able to provide useful information in relation to the attitude of the family, whether there has been a funeral and any significant dates to avoid (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries). The prosecutor will send the FLO a copy of form BFS/1 for this purpose. The FLO will confirm with the prosecutor (by email) that the correspondence has been delivered to the family.
In addition, the FLO can supply information on what information has been provided to the coroner and when, in accordance with an agreement between the CPS, the National Police Chiefs Council, the Chief Coroner and the Coroners' Society of England and Wales. The agreement encourages informed, purposeful and timely communication between the police, coroner and prosecutor throughout the handling of a suspicious death, and provides instruction on when and why communications should take place.
The BFS/1 form is marked as OFFICIAL (SENSITIVE) (ONCE COMPLETED) due to possible sensitive nature of the information included on the form (for example, in respect of risk assessments) linked to family members.
On occasion a FLO may not have been appointed or may have been withdrawn from the family. In such cases, before considering whether to offer a meeting, the prosecutor must liaise closely with the SIO to establish the reasons why there is no FLO and whether it is appropriate for a meeting to be held. In considering matters of security the prosecutor is entitled to consider the reason why a FLO has not been appointed or has been withdrawn and whether any issues of security can be adequately addressed through other measures, such as holding the meeting at a police station. If it is decided that the meeting can be held, the family must agree to a police presence at the meeting.
If it is decided not to offer a meeting, the prosecutor should write to the family informing them of this but that they are still entitled to make a VPS to the police.
A copy of this letter must be saved on CMS.
When arranging any meeting, the prosecutor should liaise with the FLO and/or SIO. Good liaison in advance will assist in preparation and reduce any potential risks. The prosecutor should liaise with the FLO/SIO to establish whether the family wish to attend and the preferred timing and location of the meeting. Enquiries should be made as to whether an interpreter is required. It is for the CPS to arrange the attendance of the interpreter.
In advance of the meeting, the FLO/SIO should forward to the prosecutor a note of the issues the family wish to discuss so that they can be dealt with as fully as possible.
Where the FLO/SIO has advised at a very early stage that the bereaved family does not require a meeting, he/she should document the reasons on the form BFS/1 and forward to the prosecutor. The prosecutor should then write to the named family member(s) alluding to this fact, reaffirming that the offer is not time bound and enclosing a leaflet explaining the scheme (English edition (PDF), Welsh edition (PDF)). This is to ensure that the purpose of the scheme is fully explained to the bereaved family representatives. Again, a copy of the letter must be saved on CMS.
Purpose of the Meeting
The purpose of the meeting will vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the stage of the proceedings. The particular considerations prosecutors should apply are set out in the following paragraphs of this guidance. However, at every meeting it will be important to deal with the family's concerns about the process and to instil confidence that the prosecutor is in charge of the case and is dealing with it in a competent and professional manner.
It should be made clear to the family in advance of the meeting (in correspondence) that the purpose of the meeting is not to discuss the detail of the evidence. However, it must be recognised that families are likely to ask questions pertaining to evidential or legal issues. Prosecutors should be alive to such evidential issues and when they arise, have regard to risks of prejudicing proceedings when considering how to deal with them. Some family members may be witnesses and this may substantially limit even further how much can be said in relation to the evidence.
If the family has additional information or queries about the investigation, wherever possible this should be dealt with by the FLO/SIO at the meeting. If this is not possible, it should be noted and referred to the SIO for a response.
Who should attend?
A police officer (normally the FLO) should attend the meeting. In some cases, it may also be helpful to have the SIO present, for the purposes of continuity for the family as well as for dealing with questions that the prosecutor is not in a position to answer.
Depending on the nature of the case and the reason for the meeting, it may be appropriate for the prosecutor to attend alone or with others. In some cases, it may be prudent to ensure that two prosecutors attend, preferably the prosecutor and his/her manager. A manager should always attend if the prosecutor so requests. In other cases, the trial advocate will be required to attend (e.g. meetings prior to plea or sentence) and in some cases it may also be beneficial for the allocated paralegal officer to attend, as they are likely to have the most regular contact with the family members at court.
Often it will only be necessary for the nominated family member to attend the meeting. There will, however, be occasions when other family members ask to be present. In these circumstances a full risk assessment must be carried out by the FLO to assess the potential risk. The number of family members attending a meeting should normally not exceed four, although the exact number will depend on the circumstances of the individual case.
The names of the proposed attendees should be obtained in advance and the nature of their relationship to the victim should be established prior to the meeting. There is always a risk that a proposed attendee may be a witness in the case; this need not preclude their attendance but it may limit what can be said.
Supporters may attend the meeting in that capacity only. The prosecutor has discretion to exclude any person from the meeting if, in all the circumstances, he/she deems it appropriate to do so.
In some cases it may be necessary to arrange more than one meeting at a particular stage. This will normally be the case where a defendant is charged with more than one qualifying offence but it may also be necessary where there is a single victim, for example, where a child has died and the parents are estranged. In cases with a single victim it should normally be possible to hold one meeting with one nominated family member.
In multiple homicide cases such as terrorist attacks or rail crashes, the same principles hold true. The prosecutor should liaise with his/her CCP, DCCP or Head of Division and work with the SIO, the Senior Identification Manager (SIM) and the Family Liaison Coordinators (FLCs) to resolve the practical challenges of holding meetings with large numbers of families.
Where a family live a considerable distance from the CPS office, or it is otherwise difficult for them to travel, prosecutors should consider holding the meeting at a location in England and Wales that is more convenient to the family. This would usually be at a local CPS office or police station.
Meetings at the family home should be avoided but are not excluded where other arrangements are impractical. However, prosecutors should be satisfied that it has been risk assessed and should liaise with the police (FLO or SIO as appropriate) in this regard.
One sensible means of avoiding unnecessary travel is to arrange a meeting on the same day as the court familiarisation visit arranged by the Witness Service. This can be particularly helpful in cases where the family reside abroad and may be limited to travelling only once before the trial commences.
Meetings are normally restricted to locations in England and Wales. Where it is considered reasonable and practicable to hold a meeting outside England and Wales, the prosecutor must seek the approval of their CCP/DCCP/Head of Division with the final decision on foreign travel being taken by the Head of International Division. The FLO must seek the approval of the SIO.
It is important that a contemporaneous note is taken of every meeting held. This applies to both formal and informal meetings, including those held at court. Handwritten notes should be scanned and forwarded to CMS using the 'Forward to CMS' function in Outlook. A digital version of the notes should be uploaded to CMS using the "Add Communication" function and properly named with reference to BFS. Prosecutors are reminded that any such notes may be disclosable.
All meetings offered/held between the CPS and bereaved families must be recorded on the Victims' Code screens on CMS.
Meeting prior to or following a charging decision
Either a CPS prosecutor or a police investigator will offer to meet with the bereaved family to explain any decision not to charge. In deciding whether a prosecution is required in the public interest, prosecutors are reminded that they should take into account any views expressed by the victim's family regarding the impact that the offence has had - Code for Crown Prosecutors - and record this on CMS accordingly.
Whether it is the police or the CPS who meet with the family will depend on who made the decision, the information upon which the decision was based and the individual circumstances of the case, as they affect who would be best placed to hold the meeting.
To comply with the Victims' Code, bereaved families must be informed of any CPS decision not to charge within one working day of the decision being made. They must also be informed how they can seek a review of the decision if they are dissatisfied with it in accordance with the Victims' Right to Review scheme.
In deaths in custody cases, there are enhanced pre-charge procedures for holding meetings. This is covered in separate guidance which should continue to be followed. Prosecutors should however, comply with this guidance in deaths in custody cases where a qualifying charge is brought.
In all qualifying cases, the CPS will offer to meet with the family at an appropriate time either prior to or after charge depending on the individual circumstances of the case. The CPS will write to the family via the FLO offering a meeting and enclosing a leaflet explaining the scheme (English edition, Welsh Edition). The form BFS/1 should be enclosed with the letter. The documentation should be emailed to the FLO.
A letter explaining a decision to charge should, wherever possible, be dispatched within a period no longer than 10 days from the date of the decision. If there is a reasonable argument for not dispatching the letter within the timeframe, then this must be clearly recorded on CMS using the "Add Communication" function.
The letter should explain the purpose of the Victim Personal Statement (VPS) scheme and that bereaved families are entitled to make a VPS.
A copy of the letter must be saved on CMS.
The FLO will provide the family with the leaflet and outline the service to the appropriate family member, explaining the contents of the leaflet which includes an explanation of the CPS role.
The FLO will also confirm with the prosecutor that the letter has been delivered to the family.
The family may provide an indication to the FLO at this stage as to whether they wish to meet the prosecutor. The FLO will ask the appropriate family member to sign the BFS/1 form indicating their willingness to meet the prosecutor. The BFS/1 will then be forwarded to the appropriate CPS prosecutor.
Where the family does not wish to meet the prosecutor, the FLO will indicate the reasons on the form and return it to the prosecutor. An initial refusal does not preclude the family from requesting a meeting at a later stage.
The exact timing of this first meeting will vary from case to case and may be before or after charge depending on the circumstances. A pre charge meeting might be more appropriate where, for example, the suspect is on bail pending a charging decision being reached, or where the case is likely to be listed within a short timescale of the defendant being charged. This is particularly relevant where the proceedings are in the magistrates' court.
In Crown Court cases, the meeting may take place at any time before the Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this may be immediately before or after charge, or after service of the prosecution case.
The prosecutor should have had an opportunity to review the full file so that he/she fully understands the case before the meeting takes place. Undue delay should be avoided.
At the meeting, the prosecutor will:
- Explain the role of the CPS and the legal basis of the charges;
- Explain why it is necessary to use particular evidence, how the prosecution, defence and the judge will deal with it, and what the likely lines of cross examination could be;
- Outline the court process and anticipated progress of the case, including what is expected to happen at each court hearing;
- Explain special measures where relevant if family members are also witnesses, and practical considerations in relation to child witnesses;
- Explain the different position of those who are not witnesses i.e. who will be able to sit in court and hear all the evidence, and who will not;
- Explain the VPS and its purpose and disclosure (see below);
- Explain possible sentences, including an explanation of life sentences and tariffs in relevant cases;
- Explain the legal position if the defendant were to be acquitted i.e. there are very limited circumstances when the prosecution can challenge a verdict;
- Answer any questions that the family may have.
Explaining the purpose of the VPS scheme
Prosecutors should consult the guidance on the VPS scheme as to the content of statements and the operation of the scheme when advising the FLO in preparation of the VPS.
In each case, the prosecutor should consider whether it is appropriate for a family spokesperson to formally adopt a composite VPS that refers to the impact on other family members (Introduction to the Victims' Code). In split families however, the taking of separate VPS should be encouraged and (as above) separate meetings with the CPS prosecutor may need to be held.
Some family members may already have made a VPS before the first meeting is held. Others will not have done so. In either case, at the first meeting prosecutors should explain:
- The purpose of the VPS;
- Disclosure of the VPS;
- The entitlement to read out the VPS or have it read;
- The relevance of the VPS in sentencing;
Under the Victims' Code, bereaved close relatives are entitled to say whether they would like to read the VPS aloud in court, or whether they would like it read for them. The decision on the VPS being read (in whole or in part) is at the discretion of the court, but the court will take account of the victim's preferences, and follow them unless there is good reason not to do so. A VPS that is read aloud or played in open court will, however, no longer be treated as a confidential document and may be reported on in the press. It is therefore important that the bereaved family are made aware of this when deciding on their preference.
The VPS and any evidence in support should be considered and taken into account by the court, prior to passing sentence. The court must pass what it judges to be the appropriate sentence having regard to the circumstances of the offence and of the offender, taking into account, so far as the court considers it appropriate, the impact on the victim.
The opinions of the victim or the victim's close relatives as to what the sentence should be are not relevant, unlike the consequences of the offence on them and where such opinions are included, the court will pay no attention to them. Accordingly, it is essential that families' expectations about the VPS are not raised unduly, with the effect that the family subsequently feel they have been misled about the purpose of the VPS in the sentencing process. It is therefore vital that prosecutors are familiar with the guidance on the VPS when advising the family. This will prevent expectations being unduly raised.
Some families may be sceptical about the value of making a VPS at all if it has little or no effect on sentence. Where a VPS is made, however, prosecutors should also advise that is open to the family to make a further VPS closer to the date of trial if they so wish.
The Attorney General's Guidance on Disclosure 2022 and the provisions of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 should apply as normal when considering disclosure. The fact that the VPS will be disclosed to the defence should be made very clear. Some victims will not want the defendant to know the effect the alleged crime has had upon them, while others take the view that the statement permits the victim to confront the offender with the consequences of his/her actions in a relatively safe environment.
Further guidance can be found in the Criminal Procedure Directions (CPD) Sentencing which is reproduced at Annex A in the legal guidance on the VPS.
Meeting with the trial advocate
The CPS will offer the bereaved family an opportunity to meet with the trial advocate. This meeting will take place at an appropriate point before commencement of the trial, or, if it is known there will be a guilty plea, before that plea is entered.
As the main purpose of this meeting is for the family to have personal contact with the advocate who will present the case in court, in some cases it may be appropriate to combine this meeting with the meeting following charge.
The prosecutor must ensure that the trial advocate (whether HCA or external Counsel) is appropriately instructed in the requirements of the scheme at the point they are briefed in the case. It should also be emphasised that only in exceptional circumstances will a change of Counsel be permitted once a meeting has been held.
In those exceptional cases where it becomes necessary to instruct a new trial advocate following a meeting (e.g. if the brief is unavoidably returned) the family should be offered a further meeting with the new trial advocate.
Speaking to Witnesses at Court
The Speaking to Witnesses at Court guidance provides clarity to CPS advocates about what they are expected to do to in supporting witnesses to give their best evidence in court. It emphasises the need for advocates to ensure witnesses are properly assisted at court and that they are better prepared and know what to expect before they give their evidence. This includes preparing them for any cross-examination that may take place. The guidance should be applied to those members of the family who are also witnesses in the case.
Meeting if charges are discontinued or substantially altered, or left to lie on file
Following a decision to discontinue, substantially alter charges, or to allow rape counts linked to murder to lie on file, the CPS will write to the bereaved family within one working day of the decision to explain the decision. Within that letter the family will be offered the opportunity to meet with the CPS prosecutor to receive an explanation of that decision and to ask any questions they may have.
Meeting following conviction
Where the defendant has been convicted, the prosecutor and the trial advocate will meet with the family. This meeting is informal and will normally take place at court immediately after conviction, although this may not always be the case.
The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that a VPS has been made (if the family wished to do so) and/or to confirm it is up to date. Where amendment to the statement is required, the FLO or other police officer at court will be asked to take a supplementary VPS which must be served on the court and the defence in the usual way.
The prosecutor will also confirm the method of presentation to the court (i.e. whether the statement will be read out by the family spokesperson or the trial advocate) and answer any questions that the family member or members may have at this stage in the process.
National Standards of Support
The CPS, the National Police Chiefs Council and Justice After Acquittal (JAA) have agreed National Standards of Support (the Standards) for bereaved families in murder cases where there has been a full acquittal of all defendants. The purpose of the Standards is to ensure that police and CPS comply with an agreed framework for review. The Standards will also give bereaved families the opportunity to discuss issues arising from the trial process and any future investigation and/or prosecution of the case.
For the most part, the support offered by the CPS in the Standards aligns with the enhanced service we already offer to bereaved families in all cases involving a death. Prosecutors should continue to offer this level of service. Prosecutors should note, however, that with the introduction of the Standards families in murder cases where there has been a full acquittal of all defendants, will now have the opportunity to have a joint case review meeting with the police and CPS.
The Standards apply to cases charged on or after 17 January 2017 and have retrospective application. In cases which have already been finalised, prosecutors should consider on a case by case basis what support they can provide if contacted by the family and be prepared to meet with them if requested to do so
A copy of the Standards should be provided by the police to bereaved families as part of the police bereavement pack.
Meeting following acquittal or conviction on a less serious charge - Post Acquittal Meetings
The CPS will offer the bereaved family a meeting following an acquittal or a conviction on less serious charges. A letter offering a meeting should be sent to the family (via the FLO or SIO as appropriate) approximately 3 weeks after the acquittal. The letter should be signed by the prosecutor. This time interval will give the family the opportunity to consider any points they wish to raise and enable the prosecutor to receive feedback about the trial (assuming they did not present the case in court themselves) and prepare for the meeting. This does not preclude any discussion which may take place with the family at court and at the time the defendant is acquitted.
The family should be advised that the meeting is optional and for their assistance should they have questions relating to the outcome of the case, the acquittal or any process thereafter. It may sometimes not be entirely clear why a verdict of not guilty was returned. There are, however, limits on what the prosecutor is able to say, and to avoid raising expectations it should be emphasised that because a jury is not required to give reasons for its verdict, the prosecutor may not know exactly why the verdict was returned.
The meeting also provides the family with an opportunity to put forward their views about the proceedings and/or possible future actions.
In Crown Court cases it may assist if the paralegal officer who was present during the trial is present at the meeting with the bereaved family to assist the prosecutor in dealing with questions about the progress of the case at court. The meeting must however, be led by the prosecutor and meetings must not be held with only the paralegal officer present.
In the vast majority of cases, it will not be necessary for the trial advocate to attend. However, the prosecutor should obtain a note from the trial advocate in advance of the meeting to help answer questions from the family. Where, in exceptional cases, it is considered necessary for the trial advocate to attend the prosecutor must seek the approval of their CCP/DCCP as appropriate.
At the meeting, the prosecutor will:
- Check the family has received a copy of the National Standards of Support from the police. If not, provide them with a copy;
- Deal with any questions that the family may have about the process, including the trial and verdict;
- Provide an explanation of any appeal process where a person has been convicted of an alternative offence;
- Provide an explanation as to the high level of proof necessary to trigger an application to quash an acquittal - this is to manage any expectations raised in the minds of the family;
- Draw attention to the support available to the families through victim support groups;
- Offer to act as a contact point for any queries up to three months after the verdict.
Where a family member was also a witness to the proceedings, care must be taken to ensure that discussion in any meeting does not taint their evidence lest there should be a subsequent appeal relating to any alternative offence for which the defendant has been convicted. Accordingly, in some cases it may not be appropriate to hold such a meeting until after the appeal process has been concluded.
Joint CPS/Police case review meeting (in murder cases following full acquittal of all defendants)
A joint case review meeting with the police will be offered to the family following any independent reviews undertaken by the CPS and police. In accordance with the National Standards of Support (the Standards) this meeting will be offered to families in murder cases where there has been a full acquittal of all defendants.
The meeting will be jointly chaired by the police (Senior Investigating Officer) and the CPS and may include the FLO and a representative from Justice After Acquittal or other support group if requested by the family. A note of the meeting should be taken.
The purpose of the meeting is for the police and CPS to share their review findings with the family and, where appropriate, identify further actions. The meeting will include, where appropriate, an explanation to the family in relation to the law in respect of double jeopardy legislation and whether any evidence from the case review may provide opportunity for a further trial. There should be a reference to the requirement for and availability of new and compelling evidence to support any subsequent proceedings and, if relevant, identification of how new and compelling evidence will be obtained.
The meeting will also give the family a further opportunity to ask any questions they may have and to express their views/opinions. It will also establish the needs of the family in relation to further contact and to identify and maintain, if possible, a specific point of contact.
It is important that the Standards are flexible to meet the needs of every family. It may therefore be appropriate, in some cases, for the CPS to combine the post-acquittal meeting with the joint case review meeting. The needs of each family for access to full information from the police and CPS in a way and at a time that suits the family, will, however, always be the priority.
Meeting following sentence
The CPS (where possible the prosecutor) and the trial advocate will meet with the family at court following sentence, to explain the sentence and answer any questions. The Unduly Lenient Sentence provisions should also be highlighted in appropriate cases.
Where the family are not present at court, they will be notified of the sentence by the Police or Witness Care Unit. If the family have any queries in relation to the sentence, they will be referred to the CPS to answer those queries (Victims' Code commitment). This will generally be by telephone although a further meeting can be arranged if requested.
Meeting following leave to appeal being granted
The CPS will offer to meet with the bereaved family where a defendant is appealing to the Court of Appeal against his sentence or conviction or both.
Once an appeal has been lodged, conduct of the case will pass to the central CPS Appeals and Review Unit (ARU). The allocated ARU prosecutor will be responsible for communicating with the bereaved family and offering them the opportunity to meet the prosecutor at what he/she considers to be an appropriate stage of the proceedings. A police representative should also attend, albeit this may not be the original FLO or SIO. In some cases it may also be appropriate for the original Area prosecutor to attend the meeting; this is to be agreed by the ARU and the original Area. The meeting will usually take place at the local Area CPS office or at the Rose Court office, if the case originates from CPS London.
At the meeting, the prosecutor will:
- Explain the nature of the appeal - i.e. whether the appeal is against conviction, sentence or both;
- Explain the basis of the appeal and the grounds;
- Outline the anticipated progress of the case;
- Answer any questions the family may have.
If the family choose to attend the Court of Appeal hearing, they should be met at court by a CPS representative, who will be on hand to assist the advocate in answering any further questions.
Meeting following reconsideration of a case after acquittal ("double jeopardy"
The CPS will offer to meet with the bereaved family where, following an acquittal, the case has been re-referred to the CPS for consideration of applying to the Court of Appeal to retry the defendant under Part 10 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 ('double jeopardy' cases). When requesting the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to apply to quash the acquittal, prosecutors should indicate who from the Area is planning to meet with the family. In exceptional circumstances, the meeting may be conducted personally by the DPP.
Local road traffic protocols
Areas should ensure that any local road traffic protocols reflect the CPS responsibilities outlined in this guidance.