Attorney General gives lecture at University of Sussex

Baroness Scotland

The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC is to deliver the inaugural lecture of Sussex University's "Issues in Criminal Justice" today (3 February 2010). 

The speech, to be given at the Chowen Lecture Theatre, marks the merger of the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).  Baroness Scotland will set out her views on developments in and challenges for the prosecuting authorities she superintends, and her aspirations for the future.

Ahead of her visit the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC said:

"This year brings the public prosecution service into a new decade and a new era.  The recent merger of the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) shows that making savings and providing a better service are not incompatible. 

"The role of the prosecutor has changed and evolved over time, and expectations of prosecution services have, rightly, never been higher. Crime is more complex than ever and crosses organisational and functional boundaries, and this merger will create an even stronger, more responsive, flexible and resilient public prosecution service for the future."

Professor Stephen Shute, convenor of the lecture series and Head of the University's School of Law, Politics and Sociology, says: "The aim of this major new series of lectures, which will be delivered on the University of Sussex campus and are open to persons from outside the university as well as inside, is to attract very distinguished speakers to the School of Law, Politics and Sociology to deliver lectures on an issue of current interest concerning the UK's criminal justice system.

"I am delighted that Baroness Scotland has accepted my invitation to deliver the inaugural lecture in this series. I am hoping that this will be the first of many thought provoking sessions exploring criminal justice issues."

The lecture series, Issues in Criminal Justice, is organised by the Sussex Law School.  Future speakers include Professor Jeremy Horder (on 20 April), whose topic will be criminal law and bureaucracy, and Michael Mansfield QC, who will give his recollections as a radical lawyer (29 April). "

Today's lecture, entitled 'Delivering an excellent public prosecution service', takes place at 5pm at the Chowen Lecture Theatre in the Brighton and Sussex Medical School at the University of Sussex.  email:

Notes to editors:

The Attorney General currently discharges three main roles: 

  • chief legal adviser to the Government;
  • superintending Minister for the prosecuting authorities (which carries with it certain functions in relation to individual prosecutions and involvement in criminal justice policy);
  • and the exercise of public interest functions (including functions in relation to unduly lenient sentences, contempt of court, civil proceedings giving rise to public interest considerations, and appointment of special advocates).

The merger of the RCPO and the CPS was announced in April 2009 and formally took place on 1 January 2010.

As part of the merger, David Green QC is leading a new Revenue and Customs Division within the merged organisation, with staff in London and Manchester, that is providing specialist prosecution services to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs on direct and indirect tax fraud; evasion of the duty paid on tobacco, alcohol and oils; illegal arms trafficking, export controls and sanctions violations; and related money laundering.

Other changes from the merger include an enhanced and enlarged Organised Crime Division, which now includes a team supporting the prosecution of all crimes investigated by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, a further team dealing with offences investigated by the new UK Borders Agency; and a Proceeds of Crime Unit that combines RCPO and CPS expertise, providing a much stronger asset recovery arm for the merged organisation.



By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Wednesday, 3 February 2010