rose again in 2013/14 to 81%1
and most recently in 2016/17 the conviction rate was 83.9%2.
Based on this quantitative measure the DPP’s Guidance on Charging can be
evaluated as an effective result of the reform and development of the CPS.
However, this may not be the most accurate method of measuring the usefulness
of this particular development as the statistics incorporate “guilty pleas”
that can skew the trend.
The reform and development of the CPS can be seen as a consequence
of the courts reviewing the decisions of the CPS. Judicial Review of the CPS
was established in the case of R v DPP ex p C3
, where it was held by the Divisional Courts that it has the power to interfere
with a decision not to prosecute only on the grounds that the prosecutor has
failed to abide by the Code for Crown Prosecutors or when the respondent
arrives at the decision not to prosecute because of unlawful policy, or the
decision was perverse. In the case of R v DPP ex p C4
the issue was that the case was not dealt with in accordance to the code for
Crown Prosecutors. This case establishes an important form of reform and
development that shows move towards a more transparent CPS, where the decisions
made are no longer infallible and as a consequence can be held up to scrutiny.
The Victim’s Right to Review Scheme is an
initiative that makes it easier for victims of crime to seek a review of the
CPS decision not to bring charges or to terminate all proceeding in the case5.
This reform and development of the CPS occurred as a result of the case of R v
in which it was stated that “In the course of the judgment the Court considered
in some detail the right of a victim of crime to seek a review of a CPS
decision not to prosecute and concluded in clear terms that: Victims have a
right to seek a review in such circumstances, Victims should not have to seek
2 Crown Prosecution Service, ‘Annual Report and Accounts
2016–2017’ (Crown Prosecution Service 2017)
accessed 5 December 2017.
3 R v DPP ex p C 1995 1 Cr App R 136
Right To Review : Victims And Witnesses : Crown Prosecution Service’ (Cps.gov.uk,
accessed 6 December 2017.
6 R v Killick 2011 EWCA Crim 1608