Select Committee on Environmental Audit Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from the Crown Prosecution Service


  1.  This Memorandum addresses the points raised in the Annex to the Committee Clerk's letter of 31 January to the Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC, Solicitor General, requesting information on how the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is contributing to the Government's preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg in August 2002.

  2.  The work of the CPS is primarily brought about as a result of legislative changes, or as a result of changes in Government policy. The CPS has, therefore, limited responsibility for its own policy making, and this is reflected in the CPS not taking an active role in the preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, but it is seeking to fully integrate sustainable development into its strategic and business planning.


What input has your department had to the UK preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development?

  3.  The CPS is not directly represented on the MISC 18 Ministerial Group on the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

Please set out which UK sustainable development indicators your department has lead responsibility for and which other indicators the department's policies particularly impact upon.

  4.  While the CPS does not have lead responsibility for any sustainable development indicators, we reflect the wider implications of sustainable development, in particular Headline Indicator 8 "Crime" contained within the Social Policy Objective, in our high level aim of:

    —  the service reflecting the Government's priorities for criminal justice. It is to contribute to the reduction both of crime and the fear of crime and to increase public confidence in the criminal justice system by fair and independent review of cases and by firm, fair and effective presentation at court.

and in the following departmental objectives that support the aim:

    —  to deal with prosecution cases in a timely and efficient manner in partnership with other agencies;

    —  to ensure that the charges proceeded with are appropriate to the evidence and to the seriousness of offending by the consistent, fair and independent review of cases in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors;

    —  to enable the courts to reach just decisions by fairly, thoroughly and firmly presenting prosecution cases, rigorously testing defence cases and scrupulously complying with the duties of disclosure;

    —  to meet the needs of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system, in co-operation with the other criminal justice agencies.

What systems does your department have in place to monitor progress on how far the department's policies are contributing to UK progress on sustainable development and the issues that were mapped out in Agenda 21 after the Rio Earth summit in 1992?

  5.  The CPS has incorporated sustainable development within its SR2002 submission to HM Treasury. Progress on departmental sustainable development issues will be monitored and published within the Departmental Annual Report.

February 2002

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