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Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) is responsible for inspecting the work of the CPS.The CPS will often provide confidential advice to investigators on the viability of a prosecution in complex or unusual cases.
The only exceptions to this rule are when a case involves matters of national security or the Attorney must personally consent to a prosecution (e.g.
all Official Secrets Act prosecutions require the Attorney General's permission to proceed).
In 1962 a Royal Commission recommended that police forces set up independent prosecution departments so as to avoid having the same officers investigate and prosecute cases, although technically the prosecuting police officers did so as private citizens.
The Royal Commission's recommendation was not implemented by all police forces however, and so in 1978, another Royal Commission was set up, this time headed by Sir Cyril Philips.
Due to the Attorney General's limited role in the CPS's casework, the use of nolle prosequi (halting of proceedings on indictment; a prerogative of the Attorney General) is now rare.
Questionable incidents, such as the dropping of the case against John Bodkin Adams for what was believed to be purely political reasons, have not been repeated in modern times.
The Casework Divisions deal with prosecutions requiring specialist knowledge and experience: The Attorney General oversees the work of the CPS, meeting regularly with the DPP and requesting briefings on matters of public or Parliamentary concern.
The Attorney General (or their deputy, the Solicitor General) answer for the CPS's performance and conduct in Parliament.
Self-employed barristers are also paid to represent the prosecution in court in more complicated cases (primarily in the Crown Court and appeal courts) and to provide expert advice when required.
The number of employees prior to the spending review was approximately 9,000.