Crown Advocate is a title used in Britain and some former British colonies for a government prosecutor. In former British Colonies and certain British extraterritorial courts the title is (or was) used by the senior government advocate. In modern-day Britain the title is used for entry level prosecution counsel employed by the Crown Prosecution Service.
In the United Kingdom, the role of a Crown Advocate is to analyse, review, prepare and present a wide range of cases in the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, including as a junior advocate in the more serious and complex cases. Crown Advocates will be expected to have an up-to-date knowledge of all criminal offences and will maintain a high volume of casework, which will include the review of more serious and complex cases. There are also Senior and Principal Crown Advocates.
British Supreme Court for China and Japan
The position of Crown Advocate was created in the British Supreme Court for China and Japan in 1878. The first holder of the position was Nicholas John Hannen. The position was similar to the position of an Attorney General in a colony. The Crown Advocate was not a full-time employee of the Foreign Office but received payment for acting as Crown Advocate. The Crown Advocate was allowed to accept cases from private clients that did not conflict with his role as Crown Advocate.
The position of Crown Advocate was created in 1839 to replace the office of Attorney General. The position was abolished in 1922 and taken over by the Treasury Counsel. In 1936, the role of Treasury Counsel was taken over by the newly re-created office of Attorney General.
New South Wales
The Crown Advocate is appointed under the provisions of the Crown Advocate Act, 1979 (Act No.59).
The Crown Advocate advises the Attorney General, particularly on questions arising under the criminal law, and appears for the NSW Government in criminal proceedings of special significance Under the Act the Crown Advocate assists the Solicitor General in respect of the exercise or discharge by the Solicitor General of any powers, authorities, duties or functions delegated by the Attorney General under section 4 of the Solicitor General Act, 1969.
The Crown Advocate is responsible for the conduct of the State’s major civil and commercial litigation, and will act as senior trial counsel in more complex matters.
- Job description of Crown Advocate from CPS website.
- Clark, Douglas, Gunboat Justice: British and American Law Courts in China and Japan (1842-1943), Volume 1, p193-5 ISBN 9888273086
- NSW State Records Investigatgor
- South Australian Premiers press release 25 July 2014
- Tasmanian Director of Public Prosecutions, Annual Report 2009-2010