Why prosecutions are routinely a very time-consuming exercise of preparation and proceedings

October 2, 2017

A significant amount of a prosecutor’s time and resources is spent analysing the brief of evidence, confirming the relevance of evidence and witnesses, and preparing strategies to present that evidence in proceedings. The presentation of evidence in the proceedings may actually constitute a fraction of the prosecutor’s time and resources allocated to a particular case.

If the brief of evidence received by prosecutors already had some form of evidence analytics (i.e. clearly mapped relevance of evidence and witnesses to the elements of the offences plus a chronology of events with associated exhibits) then the time spent by prosecutors analysing and preparing for proceedings would be significantly reduced.

Another way to look at it is the analogy of writing a book review to present to an audience

Consider which of the following would be the most efficient way to get the book review delivered to the audience?

  • The author delivers the book to the presenter, the presenter reads the entire book, analyses the relevant areas of the book, then prepares the book review? or;
  • The author of the book delivers both the book and the analysis of the book to the presenter, the presenter then confirms the analysis and prepares the book review.

Investigators are the authors of briefs of evidence and prosecutors are the reviewers and presenters of the brief to proceedings.

The following article is a good example of how the prosecution area is under increased pressure with complexities of briefs of evidence and the increasing number of prosecutions. There are realistically only two options for relieving these pressure; increase the number of prosecutors (as the article indicates), or improving efficiency in the process of preparation for prosecution. One of these solutions would have a significant increase in human resource cost. The other can be achieved through a simple change of investigation and evidence management methodologies known as Elementising Evidence.

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