Accessibility |

News from COPFS

feed-image Subscribe to the COPFS News RSS feed

Investigations by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner Under the Direction of the Crown

COPFS is the sole prosecuting authority in Scotland and, on behalf of the Lord Advocate, decides in every case whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute.  COPFS also has responsibility, on behalf of the Lord Advocate, to investigate all sudden and unexplained deaths in Scotland.

New standards of service for victims and witnesses published

New standards of service have been published today to support and protect victims and witnesses in the Scottish criminal justice system; to make sure they have access to the information they need; and to ensure they are treated fairly.

The standards are the result of a partnership between COPFS, the Parole Board for Scotland, Police Scotland, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and the Scottish Prison Service, in consultation with victims organisations. 

The new Standards of Service explains what a victim or witness can expect to happen at each stage of the criminal justice system process, the standards of service they can expect, and who they can contact for help or advice so they can participate effectively in criminal proceedings.

Standards of Service

COPFS equality progress and achievements

COPFS has today published a report of progress and achievements for its equality and diversity work during the last two years.

During the two year period the Scottish prosecution service fostered constructive working relations with a variety of community groups, worked in partnership with local authorities and other third sector organisations to deliver equality related messages and to develop new policies for prosecutors. COPFS received national recognition for its dedication and commitment to equality and diversity through awards from the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) and Stonewall.

Catherine Dyer, COPFS Crown Agent and Chief Executive said:

"I am proud of our progress and achievements over the last two years but recognise that there is much still to do. I am sure you will find our report both interesting and thought provoking. I would like to thank all COPFS staff, community groups and organisations who have contributed to our success."

Crossing boundaries in reform of criminal law

COPFS is to host the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law conference in Edinburgh from 21-25 June 2015.

The Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC, will chair the Society’s 28th international conference, bringing together those from criminal justice organisations and academics from around the world.

Crown rules that a Fatal Accident Inquiry should be held into the Glasgow bin lorry incident

Crown Counsel have decided that a Fatal Accident Inquiry should be held into the causes of this tragedy to ensure that there can be a full public hearing of the facts of the case.

Following the road traffic incident involving a bin lorry in Glasgow City Centre on December 22nd 2014 a Police Scotland inquiry, under the direction of the Crown Office, began immediately into the cause of the crash in which six people died and ten were injured.

And the winner is… Proud in COPFS

"Proud in COPFS" has been recognised by Stonewall Scotland as its top Scottish Network Group 2015.

The award recognises the “huge success” that the group has had in supporting LGBT colleagues and raising awareness of LGBT equality issues. And it follows the recent announcement that COPFS is 8th in Stonewall’s top UK employers, and the top Scottish public sector employer.

A three-year plan to secure justice for the people of Scotland

The COPFS Strategic Plan 2015-2018 is published today.

The Plan describes what we aim to deliver over the three-year period and the underlying priorities. These are set against the backdrop of legal reforms, both past and planned, changes in the patterns of criminal behaviour and developments in our business practices.

Each element of this Strategic Plan is designed to support our purpose to secure justice for the people of Scotland.


COPFS recognised as a top ten Stonewall employer

COPFS is very proud to be in Stonewall’s top ten UK workplaces - we are now ranked 8 out of the 397 workplaces who applied to the LGB charity.

Crown Agent Catherine Dyer and COPFS Equality Champion Ruth McQuaid talk about what this means for Scotland’s Prosecution Service:



Aberdeen gamekeeper jailed for killing Goshawk

Gamekeeper Mutch was handed a custodial sentence today after being caught trapping and killing a rare wild bird with the use of video cameras.

George Mutch was sentenced to four months imprisonment on each of the four charges, one offence under Section 5(1)(b) and three offences under Section 1(1)(a) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The sentences will run concurrently.

Scotland's Law Officers marked the anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing

On 21 December Scotland's Law Officers marked the 26th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing by showing support for the relatives of those who died. The Lord Advocate urged the relatives not to give up hope that others will eventually be brought to justice for the atrocity in which 270 people lost their lives. The Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC sent a message of remembrance on the anniversary of the atrocity.