The Crown Prosecution Service has issued an updated edition of its code for Crown prosecutors to make it easier for the public to understand how decisions are made. The document, which follows a 12-week consultation, includes a clearer explanation of the public interest factors in making prosecution decisions, and a fuller section explaining out of court disposals. It sets out the discretion for prosecutors to halt a prosecution in exceptional circumstances where it becomes clear that it would not be in the public interest to proceed, even before all the evidence is available. The revised code also outlines the ability of prosecutors to conduct pre-trial witness interviews when required, to assess the reliability of witness evidence or better understand complex evidence. This is the first edition of the code issued by Keir Starmer QC (pictured) since he became director of public prosecutions. It reflects changes to legislation and practice since the previous code was issued in 2004. Starmer said the role of the prosecutor is ‘constantly evolving’ and it is ‘critical that the code is kept as relevant and clear as possible to assist prosecutors in their increasingly diverse roles and specialities’.