Criminal Practitioners

Criminal Practitioners Specialist Reference Group

For those members specialising in criminal law

Thank you to the members who have signed up to form part of this specialist reference group. If you are not a member, but wish to join, please email with your full name (as you are registered with us) and your membership number. 

Practice advice

At CILEx we do our best to provide our members with as much advice and guidance as we can for our members looking to, or those who are already working in Criminal Law. Our Practice Advice page is a great place to start if you have any questions or queries. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, or would like further guidance or advice, please get in touch with the membership contact centre via or by calling 01234 845777. 

Active engagement work 

CILEx is regularly working on behalf of our members on a variety of issues. Below is some of our ongoing work for which we would like to engage with the Criminal Practitioners Specialist Reference Group in order to gain greater perspective and evidence from those working in Criminal Law. 

Upcoming Consultations

CILEx would like to encourage members of this SRG to respond to the consultations below. We would also appreciate it if you could provide us with your comments, views or submissions by emailing them to us at

Sentencing Council - Expanded Explanations in Sentencing Guidelines

The Council is proposing to embed additional information into offence specific sentencing guidelines to make it easier for users to access relevant information. This will provide sentencers and other court users with useful information relating to commonly used factors in guidelines and also improve transparency for victims, defendants and the wider public. At the same time the Council is proposing changes to wording in some guidelines to improve consistency and clarity across guidelines.

The Sentencing Council is consulting about both the concept of providing the additional information and the content of that information.

Crown Prosecution Services – Mental Health Conditions and Disorders – Draft Legal Guidance

The CPS is conducting a public consultation on a proposed revision of its Legal Guidance on prosecuting defendants with mental health issues.

Key amendments include:

  • Signposting CPS lawyers to key policy documents and introducing them to statutory definitions with basic explanations.
  • Addressing issues across a case life: the decision to prosecute; fitness to plead and / or stand trial; remand considerations; defendant special measures; sentencing and diversion.
  • Providing additional information for prosecutors about a variety of mental health conditions and directing them to websites for greater information.
  • Providing more detailed discussion on a range of public interest considerations.
  • Reference to local liaison and diversion services and more information on when diversion may be appropriate.
  • Reference to the Equality Act 2010 which is triggered by defendants who meet the definition of disability and, as a result, may be entitled to reasonable adjustments and special measures when giving evidence.
  • Expanding the section on fitness to plead with additional guidance for prosecutors in circumstances where the suspect’s mental health means that a nominal penalty is the likely outcome.
  • Revised sentencing section setting out the types of disposal and the availability and conditions of each sentence.

HMCTS Engagement Survey

HMCTS is conducting a perception survey to inform and improve how it communicates with court users.

As part of its on-going court modernisation programme, HMCTS are seeking views of those who use, and work within, the justice system. HMCTS has commissioned BMG Research to carry out a detailed piece of research to inform and improve how it communicates with you.

We would encourage you to take the time to complete the online survey below. It should take around 15 minutes to complete.

Take the BMG Research survey

The deadline for completing this short survey is 10 May 2019. Your responses will be treated anonymously and in the strictest confidence. HMCTS will not be able to identify you from the information you provide. BMG Research abides by the Market Research Society Code of Conduct and data protection laws at all times. You can find out more information about how BMG surveys and what they do with the information they collect in the BMG Privacy Notice.

Previous work 

CILEx continues to promote member views throughout the legal community. We hope that the Criminal Practitioners Specialist Reference Group grows with us. 

We have consulted with the Criminal Practitioners Specialist Reference Group on a number of occasions in order to provide our work with greater amounts of evidence. Examples of our work can be found below, some of which includes direct references so our SRG engagement that proves to be increasingly valuable as we engage more with those in the legal services market.

News & Updates

Professional Negligence and Loss of Chance

Simon Parsons FCILEx, a Chartered Legal Executive and a former Associate Professor of Law at Solent University, has written a fascinating article on professional negligence and loss of chance.

Members can find Simon Parsons article here.

If you wish to comment on the article, or would like to write your own article, please contact Val Williams at

Contact us

If you have any questions about this or other Specialist Reference Groups, then please contact us on or by calling 01234 845777.