Lay CPS staff, presenting straightforward uncontested cases in magistrates' courts, have proved highly successful in the six pilot areas. This released prosecution lawyers allowing them to concentrate on more difficult casework.
We have no plans to recruit lay presenters from outside the Crown Prosecution Service. We are confident that the CPS has sufficient skilled and experienced staff to handle all the cases suitable for lay presentation.
Each lay presenter is required to complete a series of training courses, to acquire the legal knowledge and advocacy skills which conform to the national standards expected of Crown Prosecutors for the relevant range of cases. All will be supervised by a qualified lawyer.
Safeguards are in place to protect defendants. Key witness statements are given to defendants before the case is heard and free legal advice and representation is available at these early hearings. The court must be satisfied with the defendant's plea before accepting it.
The CPS will closely monitor the progress of the lay presenter to speed up the criminal justice system when they are introduced nationally. We are confident that the arrangements are sufficient to deal with the concerns raised.Reuse content