Status, aims and function
The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland (IPS) was created in December 2003. The IPS now sits under the Director for Justice structure within the core Scottish Government. The IPS is headed by the Chief Inspector, who is accountable to the Lord Advocate for its management, performance and future development.
The Inspectorate was put on a statutory footing by the Criminal Proceedings etc (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 Sections 78 and 79 which provide for the creation of an officer known as His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prosecution in Scotland to be appointed by the Lord Advocate. The principal statutory functions are:
- to secure the inspection of the operation of COPFS
- to submit to the Lord Advocate a report on any particular matter connected with the operation of the service which the Lord Advocate refers to the Inspector
- to submit to the Lord Advocate an Annual Report on the exercise of the Inspector’s functions which the Lord Advocate must lay before the Scottish Parliament
The overall aim of the IPS is to enhance the quality of the service and public confidence in the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) through independent inspection and evaluation.