rose again in 2013/14 to 81%1and most recently in 2016/17 the conviction rate was 83.9%2.Based on this quantitative measure the DPP’s Guidance on Charging can beevaluated as an effective result of the reform and development of the CPS.However, this may not be the most accurate method of measuring the usefulnessof 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 consequenceof the courts reviewing the decisions of the CPS. Judicial Review of the CPSwas 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 interferewith a decision not to prosecute only on the grounds that the prosecutor hasfailed to abide by the Code for Crown Prosecutors or when the respondentarrives at the decision not to prosecute because of unlawful policy, or thedecision was perverse. In the case of R v DPP ex p C4the issue was that the case was not dealt with in accordance to the code forCrown Prosecutors. This case establishes an important form of reform anddevelopment that shows move towards a more transparent CPS, where the decisionsmade are no longer infallible and as a consequence can be held up to scrutiny. The Victim’s Right to Review Scheme is aninitiative that makes it easier for victims of crime to seek a review of theCPS 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 vKillick6in which it was stated that “In the course of the judgment the Court consideredin some detail the right of a victim of crime to seek a review of a CPSdecision not to prosecute and concluded in clear terms that: Victims have aright to seek a review in such circumstances, Victims should not have to seek 1 ibid2 Crown Prosecution Service, ‘Annual Report and Accounts2016–2017’ (Crown Prosecution Service 2017)