COPFS is seeking enthusiastic candidates for our Legal Traineeship programme.
COPFS is offering a number of Legal Traineeships with anticipated start dates commencing March and September 2020; and March 2021.
The COPFS Legal Traineeship offers a wide range of experience and opportunities in the public prosecution service in Scotland. You will have the chance to explore the work of Crown Office, which is COPFS Headquarters. The traineeship will involve undertaking a range of responsibilities within the Procurator Fiscal’s offices throughout Scotland. This will include preparation and presentation of cases in summary courts. If you successfully complete the traineeship you may enrol as a qualified solicitor in Scotland.
Trainees will be required to work in Procurator Fiscal’s offices throughout Scotland on rotation. You may also spend a proportion of the traineeship working within another government agency.
Starting SalaryYear 1 - £19,295 rising to £22,500 in year 2.
Our benefits We offer an excellent range of benefits which include:
Applications must be submitted by 9am on 3rd January 2019.
Please also see our full application pack for the behavioural competences which are required for this role. Application packs are available to download from our website. http://www.copfs.gov.uk/careers.
Please note that COPFS has exemptions from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974). COPFS must also adhere to strict Civil Service and Cabinet Office Baseline Personnel Security Standards regarding nationality, identity and history verification rules.
Candidates Guidance and information on Competency Based Selection can be found on the Application Process tab at the top of this page.
Alison Di Rollo is a Senior Advocate Depute and was appointed Solicitor General in June 2016.
The Solicitor General is the deputy of the Lord Advocate. They are responsible for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, legal advice to Scottish Ministers, civil litigation, constitutional issues and appointment of Counsel.
Alison graduated with LLB and Dip LP from Glasgow University in 1983 and joined COPFS in 1985, following a legal traineeship in private practice, going on to perform front line prosecution duties in Dumfries, Edinburgh and Dunfermline and in the Policy Group at Crown Office before being appointed Deputy Head of the High Court Unit in Crown Office, and later Head of Operational Policy.
In May 2008 Alison was seconded from COPFS to take up an appointment as a Trial Advocate Depute, and since then has been prosecuting in the High Court. As well as conducting murder, rape, child abuse, robbery, drugs and firearms trials, in 2009 she assisted the then Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini QC in the prosecution of Marek Harcar for the rape and murder of Moira Jones.
In February 2010 Alison joined the Crown Office National Sexual Crimes Unit and between January 2013 and January 2015 was the Head of the Unit. From January 2015 until taking appointment as Solicitor General Alison was a Senior Advocate Depute.
David Harvie is a Solicitor Advocate and joined the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, following a spell in private practice, in 1996. He worked as a Procurator Fiscal Depute in Paisley until 1999, when he was seconded to the Lockerbie criminal trial team until after the trial, when, after a brief spell in Policy, he was promoted to Principal Depute, Aberdeen.
In 2001 he was seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
He returned to Crown Office in 2004, where he became Deputy, then Head of the National Casework Division with responsibility for Organised Crime, Financial Crime and Proceeds of Crime cases throughout Scotland.
In 2008, David was promoted to District Procurator Fiscal, Edinburgh and East Lothian.
In August 2010 he was appointed as Area Procurator Fiscal for Central.
In May 2011, David was appointed Interim Head of East Federation.
He was promoted to Director of Serious Casework and Procurator Fiscal North of Scotland in July 2011. He took up his previous post as Procurator Fiscal for the West of Scotland in April 2014.
He was promoted to Crown Agent on 4 April 2016.
James Wolffe QC is a leading Senior Counsel, and was appointed Lord Advocate in June 2016.
He became an advocate in 1992 and was First Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Ministers from 2002 to 2007, the same year he was appointed Queen's Counsel. From 2007 to 2010 he served as an Advocate Depute.
Called to the bar of England and Wales in 2013, James was elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates in 2014. He has extensive experience of both commercial and public law.
The Procurator Fiscal may decide to give the accused either a written or personal warning. Once this happens, the accused cannot be prosecuted for that offence.
As part of our commitment to providing a consistent and high standard of service, and in line with the commitment given in A Partnership for a Better Scotland, a national network of prosecutors has been created to specialise in environmental and wildlife law.
Offences such as the pollution of rivers by raw sewage or chemical spillage can pose a real threat both to public health and to the environment but these are not cases that are dealt with every day by Procurators Fiscal and accordingly, a number of existing prosecutors have been appointed and have received specialist training with SEPA.
Similarly, a network of prosecutors has been trained in wildlife offences such as the theft of wild birds' eggs or the shooting or poisoning of protected species of birds or animals.
In establishing a network of Procurators Fiscal with expertise in the prosecution of such offences and who are able to share their experiences across the country more readily, we are helping to make sure that COPFS is equipped to conduct effective investigation and prosecution of environmental crime against a better background of understanding of the context of these offences.
COPFS aims to ensure that its staff are able to provide regular and effective attendance. COPFS will take distinct steps to balance the needs of the individual with the needs of the Service and to effectively manage sickness absence.
The disciplinary procedures will be used to provide a framework for dealing with apparent shortcomings in conduct. Staff and managers should also refer to the Attendance Management Policy and Poor Performance Policy when dealing with these specific issues.
Equal Pay Policy15.34 KB
COPFS is committed to the principle of equal pay for all employees. We aim to eliminate any sex bias in our pay systems.
This document provides an overview of the FWH Policy for managers and staff. The policy cannot anticipate all potential situations and where further guidance is required this should be sought from HR.
This toolkit has been designed to support all staff through every step of the recruitment and selection process for filling vacant posts.
Rules of conduct in the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service are informed by two key values:
“Being Professional” and “Showing Respect”
Practice and procedure
Useful information before you make a comment or complaint
If you would like to make a comment or complaint about the work of COPFS, it is advisable to read the Complaints Handling Policy and Guidance below before submitting your comments or complaints.
If you have problems downloading the form, please contact the Enquiry Point on 0300 020 3000
Normally, you must make your complaint within 6 months of finding out that you have reason to complain, but no longer than 12 months after the event itself.
In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.
If your complaint relates to a current criminal case, we might not be able to respond until the end of the case – for example, until after a trial in court. This will depend on the particular nature and circumstances of the complaint. We will let you know as soon as possible if we need to put your complaint on hold until the case is finished.
If you are the victim in a case reported to us, you have a right to ask us to review a decision made on or after 1 July 2015 not to take action in the first place or to stop or discontinue a case after a case has started in court. A request for review should, where possible, be made within one month of the date you learn the decision from us. More information on how to ask for a review is available on our website.
If we can deal with your complaint as a frontline resolution we will respond within 5 days.
If your complaint cannot be resolved by frontline resolution or is complex and requires investigation we will acknowledge your contact by phone, letter or email within three working days. We aim to provide a full response within 20 working days (not including weekends and public holidays); but if that is not possible, for example, due to the enquiries we need to make to resolve your complaint, then we will keep you advised of progress.
How to make a complaint or comment about our service
Our Enquiry Point is open from 08:30 to 17:15 Monday to Thursday; and 08:30 to 17:00 on Friday.
Please note that if you contact us by telephone, we might sometimes ask you to make your complaint in writing, by email or letter. This could happen if we are unable to clarify the nature of your complaint over the telephone or if your complaint is complex.
“I am writing to complain about the decision taken by the Procurator Fiscal in the case against John Smith, who was accused of vandalising my car on DATE.
The Procurator Fiscal case reference number is YZ123456.
The case was heard in X Sheriff Court on DATE . I am not happy because…
What I would like you to do is…”
If our investigation will take longer than 20 days we will tell you and keep you updated on progress.
A review of a decision not to prosecute: If you are asking for a review of a decision not to prosecute in a case in which you are the victim, we will consider the circumstances of the case and whether the decision not to prosecute was a reasonable one. We will reply in writing advising of our decision and the matters that we took into account in considering it. More information on your right to ask for a review is available on our website.
Complaints about COPFS staff: Complaints about senior members of staff require careful handling to ensure there is no conflict of interest. When serious complaints are raised against senior staff, they will generally be handled by the Head of our Response and Information Unit in the first instance. In appropriate circumstances another senior member of staff who has no direct involvement in the complaint, will carry out an investigation.
You can contact the SPSO:
4 Melville Street
Freepost (you do not need to use a stamp)
Edinburgh EH3 0BR
Freephone: 0800 377 7330
Online contact www.spso.org.uk/contact-us
Mobile site: http://m.spso.org.uk
We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you.
You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.
Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
Tel: 0131 260 5380
Fax: 0131 260 5381
For more information:
Please see our COPFS Complaints Handling Procedure
Welcome to the area of our site giving information about our roles and responsibilities.
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) is responsible for the prosecution of crime in Scotland, the investigation of sudden or suspicious deaths and complaints of criminal conduct by police officers on duty. We work closely with our partners in the criminal justice system to help make Scotland a safer place.
For further information regarding the Law Officers and Crown agent please see the Who we are page.
We hope that you will find the information useful, but if there is anything else you would like to know, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The police (or other Specialist Reporting Agencies, e.g. Customs and Excise) carry out an initial crime investigation and submit a report to the local Procurator Fiscal