To What Extent Can Prosecution Agencies Contribute to Any Meaningful Sense of ‘Criminal Justice’?

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The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was established under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 ‘as the principal prosecuting agency’ in England and Wales that take over cases which the police had decided to prosecute. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 transferred most of the charging power from the police to CPS, giving the impression of a public service that counterbalance the increased police force while delivering justice by working independently of them. However, since the inception of CPS, there are mounting criticisms that it is bureaucratic, ineffective, working too close to the police. The main questions I will address in this paper are the use of discretionary power and the failure to fulfill its function as an independent body from the police. In addition, I will also assess the different approaches adopted by non-police organizations that conduct prosecutions. However, before I do so, it is necessary to observe that the concept of ‘criminal justice’ differs from person to person. A distinction must be drawn between procedural justice and justice in a socio-political context. Taking this into account I will use the different paradigms of criminal justice, from Herbert Packer’s due process and crime control models to victim’s standpoint, in order to gain a holistic view to see the extent of prosecution agencies achieving criminal justice in the England and Wales.

As the question suggests, there is no universal definition of ‘criminal justice’ exists. Different models are essentially different perspectives provided to assess criminal justice in terms of some general characteristics and principles. Understanding this, I will first look at what ‘justice’ is through the due process lens. Herbert Packer derived this model from the ideas inherent in rule of law which stresses the importance of formal structure of law and procedure safeguards (Packer, 1968: 2).

Three main values can be gleaned from the due process model. The first and arguably the most



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