For anyone who is facing criminal charges in the UK or needs to understand the criminal justice system in this country, here are some key aspects that they need to be aware of. At the beginning, the criminal justice system in the UK covers Wales as well as England. It is considered a major public service in the country. Part of the criminal justice system includes the police department, courts, Crown Prosecution Service, prisons and other prohibition services. All these work together to deliver justice against criminal acts in the country.
The core agencies of the criminal justice system in UK comprise of the following:
- Crown Prosecution Service.
- National Offender Management Service.
- Youth Justice Board and different voluntary groups such as Victim Support or National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders.
Area wise distribution
There are about 42 boards that dispense on local criminal cases as well as coordinate activities or share responsibilities in delivering criminal justice. The boards see the workings of the chief officers of CJS agencies. They co-ordinate the activities and are responsible for dispensing justice at local levels on criminal matters. Three main departments dispense justice on behalf of the Criminal Justice System which is the Ministry of Justice, Crown Court, Legal Services Commission and Appeals Courts along with the National Offender Management Service. There is the Home Office, which oversees police matters while the office of the Attorney General looks into matters pertaining to the Crown Prosecution Service as well as Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office or Serious Fraud Office.
The Ministry of Justice considers the overall criminal justice process. For instance, charges of a suspect, court proceedings, and prison or probation matters. Everything pertaining to criminal law in the country as well as sentencing policy is handled by this ministry. The ministry also has the power to provide legal aid, reduce offense, prison terms or probation conditions.
Home Office is responsible to look into matters that threaten public safety. Hence, cases of anti social behaviour, crime and terror are looking into by this department. The department looks into crime reduction matters, policing, and counter-terrorism and security matters.
The attorney General office acts as legal advisor to government cases. They ensure that laws are upheld in government decisions. The department works in the public interest. Cases pertaining to contempt of court are usually acting upon by the Attorney General office.
General information pertaining to the UK criminal legal system can be found in http://www.criminal-barristers-london.co.uk/resources/defending-people-unfamiliar-with-the-criminal-justice-system/. Such information can help individuals to understand the structure and functioning of the country’s legal system with respect to criminal matters. However, it is best to seek advice and support from a private criminal lawyer if issues arise in such an arena. In case of any public case one has the right to a defence lawyer who will represent his or her case. With several private lawyers and firms available online, it is possible to start discussions with an expert right away.