The role of Public Prosecutions in the justice system
Proceeding on a charge
The police send a file for prosecution to a Crown Prosecutor. The prosecutor then considers two questions when deciding if a charge should proceed.
First, the prosecutor decides if there is reasonable likelihood of a conviction. The prosecutor studies the evidence from the police to determine what will be admissible and if it is solid enough to get a conviction. The prosecutor must also consider the defence that the accused may use.
Second, the prosecutor decides if it is in the public interest to prosecute. The following factors are considered:
The following factors are not considered when deciding whether to proceed:
If the matter goes to court, it is the duty of the prosecutor to present the case for the Crown in a fair way and to keep the court fully informed of all information relevant to the issues the judge will have to deal with. Regardless of the result of the trial, a prosecutor is satisfied if the trial has been fair to the public, whose interests the prosecutor represents, and to the accused.