Cradle to Grave

A view from the North

A few years ago the CPS advertised for lawyers who would see the case from “cradle to grave”. The advertisement showed a lawyer one step behind the police as they burst in through the door of the suspect’s house and then showed the same lawyer representing the Crown before the Crown Court Judge. The sort of lawyer that Emma Thompson would play in a film.

The idea of case ownership is laudable. That a lawyer should have overall control of the case from start to finish has obvious benefits. Decisions are made early, issues are refined and the trial process is more efficient. It is true for both sides, prosecution and defence.

It is such an important aspect of the Criminal Justice System that it is catered for in the Criminal Procedure Rules. Rule 3.19 of the CrPR requires the defence to notify the court of the identity of the…

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