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Sir Ken Macdonald QC

Director of Public Prosecutions

The current Director of Public Prosecutions is Sir Ken Macdonald QC who became Head of The Crown Prosecution Service in November 2003.




Peter Lewis15 January, Peter Lewis was appointed Chief Executive Officer, the first to be appointed from within the Service.


Sir Ken Macdonald QC3 November, Sir Ken Macdonald QC was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The Director was awarded a knighthood from the Queen in the 2007 New Year's Honours list.


Richard FosterRichard Foster was appointed Chief Executive in January 2002.



Following the publication of the “Review of the CPS” by Sir Iain Glidewell in June 1998, in April 1999 the CPS changed from 14 to 42 geographical Areas. Each Area lines up with existing police force boundaries apart from CPS London which covers the forces of the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police.


David Calvert-Smith QCNovember 1, David Calvert-Smith QC was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).


Barbara MillsMrs Barbara Mills was appointed DPP. In 1997 Barbara Mills was appointed Dame of the British Empire.



Sir Allan GreenSir Allan Green was appointed DPP.


The CPS started operating in 1986.


The Prosecution of Offences Act created the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). It established the Director of Public Prosecutions as the head of a Department which incorporated the Department of the DPP and existing Police Prosecuting Solicitor’s Departments.


The Home Office published a White Paper An Independent Prosecution Service for England and Wales. The Government favoured a national service with strong local features and with the majority of cases being handled in local offices to prevent delays in decision making.


The Royal Commission recommended to the Government that a new independent prosecution authority should be introduced by Act of Parliament.

1960 - 1979


A Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure was set up under Sir Cyril Philips. Its report was published in 1981 and had the following three main criticisms of the Criminal Justice system in England and Wales:

- the police should not investigate offences and decide whether to prosecute. The officer who investigated a case could not be relied on to make a fair decision whether to prosecute

- different police forces around the country used different standards to decide whether to prosecute

- the police were allowing too many weak cases to come to court. This led to a high percentage of judge-directed acquittals.


Sir Thomas HetheringtonSir Thomas Hetherington was appointed DPP.


Sir Norman Skelhorn was appointed DPP.


A Royal Commission on the police said that it was not acceptable for the police to use the same officers to investigate and prosecute cases. It recommended that all police forces should have their own prosecuting solicitor’s departments. Some police forces did set up their own prosecuting solicitor’s departments, whilst others continued to use local firms of solicitors for advice on prosecutions. The police forces did not have to act on the solicitor’s advice.



Sir Theobald MathewSir Theobald Mathew was appointed DPP.


Sir Edward Tindal AtkinsonSir Edward Tindal Atkinson was appointed DPP.


Sir Archibald BodkinSir Archibald Bodkin was appointed DPP.



Sir Charles MathewsThe Prosecution of Offences Act 1908 separated the roles of Treasury Solicitor and DPP. Sir Charles Mathews was appointed as the first DPP to head this separate Department.


The Director became responsible for defending appeals in the new Court of Appeal.


Hamilton Cuffe (Lord Desart)Hamilton Cuffe (Lord Desart) was appointed DPP.


Sir Augustus StephensonThe duties of the public prosecutor were transferred to the Treasury Solicitor who became DPP. The first DPP and Treasury Solicitor was Sir Augustus Stephenson.


Sir John MauleThe Home Secretary appointed Sir John Maule as the first Director of Public Prosecutions as part of the Home Office. He dealt only with a small number of important or difficult cases. Once the decision to prosecute had been taken the handling of the prosecution was taken over by the Treasury Solicitor. The police continued to have responsibility for most prosecutions until 1986.

Before 1880

Before the Prosecution of Offences Act 1879 there was no public prosecutor to take criminal cases to court. People had to find their own lawyers or present the prosecution case themselves. Police forces were gradually set up after 1829.