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Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Bill [H.L.]


 

These notes refer to the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Bill [H.L.]
as introduced in the House of Lords on 18th November 1999 [HL Bill 4]

Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Bill [H.L.]


EXPLANATORY NOTES

INTRODUCTION

1. These explanatory notes refer to the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Bill [H.L.] as introduced in the House of Lords on 18th November 1999. They have been prepared by the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers in order to assist the reader of the Bill and to help inform debate on it. They do not form part of the Bill and have not been endorsed by Parliament. 2. The notes need to be read in conjunction with the Bill. They are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the Bill. So where a clause or part of a clause does not seem to require any explanation or comment, none is given.

BACKGROUND

3. The Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Bill gives effect to the Government's proposal to place the existing Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate on a statutory basis, reporting directly to the Attorney General. The Government announced this proposal in giving its response to the Glidewell Report, the Review of the Crown Prosecution Service, into the future of the CPS which was published on 1 June 1998.

THE BILL

4. The Bill's main purpose is to put the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate on to a statutory basis. It provides for the Chief Inspector to be appointed by the Attorney General, makes provision for the funding of the inspectorate and sets out the functions that the Chief Inspector must carry out in performing his duty.

COMMENTARY ON CLAUSES

Clause 1: The Inspectorate

5. The inspectorate is established on a statutory basis by clause 1. The Chief Inspector is to be appointed by the Attorney General and, in turn, the Chief Inspector may appoint inspectors and others to work with him in the inspectorate.

6. Clause 1(3) makes provision for the payment of salary and other benefits to the Chief Inspector and for the funding of the inspectorate. The funding of the inspectorate is to be independent from that of the Crown Prosecution Service.

Clause 2: Functions

7. The functions of the Chief Inspector are set out in clause 2(1). The primary function of the Chief Inspector will be to inspect the operation of the Crown Prosecution Service.

8. The Chief Inspector will also be under an obligation to report to the Attorney General on anything connected with the Crown Prosecution Service that the Attorney General refers to him. He will be under a further obligation to produce an annual report for the Attorney General about the operation of the Crown Prosecution Service and that report must be laid before Parliament by the Attorney General.

9. If the Chief Inspector is absent or incapacitated, he may designate one of the appointed inspectors to act in his place.

Clause 3: Short title, commencement and extent.

10. The Bill, apart from clause 3, will come into force on a day appointed by the Attorney General. Clause 3 will come into force on Royal Assent.

FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL

11. It is anticipated that the running costs for the inspectorate for the financial year 2000-2001 will be about £2.5 million. This represents something of an increase over the current expenditure on the non-statutory inspectorate. This increase is, however, largely the result of the need for the inspectorate to find accommodation separate from the Crown Prosecution Service. There is no increase in expenditure as a direct result of the Bill.

EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SERVICE MANPOWER

12. The Bill will have no effect on public service manpower. It is anticipated that the size of the inspectorate will increase in due course. This increase is not, however, a consequence of the Bill.

REGULATORY IMPACT ASSESSMENT

13. This is a measure which has no direct effect on business, charities or other voluntary sector bodies.

COMMENCEMENT

14. The Bill will come into force in England and Wales on a day to be appointed by the Attorney General, except for clause 3 which will come into force on Royal Assent.

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

15. Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a Statement, before second reading, about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). Lord Williams of Mostyn, the Attorney General has made the following statement:

    In my view the provisions of the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Bill [H.L.] are compatible with the Convention rights.

 
 
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© Parliamentary copyright 1999
Prepared: 19 November 1999