New Protocol between the Attorney General and the Prosecuting Departments

Serious Fraud Office


In July 2009 the Attorney General published a protocol which sets out the relationship of the Attorney General with the prosecuting authorities she superintends, produced in collaboration with the directors of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO).

The new protocol sets out how the Attorney General and the Directors of the prosecuting departments, which are the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Fraud Office, and the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office, exercise their functions in relation to each other. It covers: general responsibilities; strategy, planning and performance; responsibility for prosecution decisions; development of policy; dealing with the media; and dealing with complaints.

The Attorney General and Solicitor General have overall responsibility for the Treasury Solicitor and supervise the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Director of the Serious Fraud Office, the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office, HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and the DPP for Northern Ireland.

The protocol sets out the circumstances in which the Attorney General may need to be involved in a case, e.g. where it is necessary to safeguard national security or because a case is particularly sensitive, or reveals some wider systemic issue for criminal law or practice.

A copy of the protocol is available at the Attorney General’s website.

If you have any questions regarding the issues raised in the article please contact Sarah Wallace on 0370 1500 100 or 020 7421 3883.