Career outlook for procurator fiscal
UK Salary Ranges
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would present cases in court to bring criminals to justice. You’d also look into sudden and unexplained deaths to find out what happened and if the death could have been prevented.
Your work would help to reduce crime in Scotland and ensure it is a safe place for people to live.
You would work for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, which is Scotland’s prosecution service.
When a crime or accident happens or a person dies suddenly or in unexplained circumstances, the police or other agencies will carry out an initial investigation and submit a report to the local procurator fiscal’s office.
Along with the police, more than 100 other agencies can also report cases to the fiscal. The type of issues they might report include:
- Benefit fraud
- Pollution of drinking water
- Illegal dumping of waste
- Infringement of trading standards
As a procurator fiscal, you would consider the evidence and decide on the best action to take for the public interest.
Sometimes you might decide not to prosecute, or you could issue a direct measure – a warning, penalty or referral to another service – instead of taking a case to court. You’d need to explain your decision.
- Examine the evidence and witness statements to prepare cases for prosecution
- Present cases in the Sheriff courts and Justice of the Peace courts
- Look into sudden and suspicious deaths
- Conduct Fatal Accident Inquiries
- Investigate criminal complaints against the police
It’s a responsible job for which you would need to be methodical and thorough. Sometimes you would have to sensitively question people who are anxious at being in court or who may get upset when they have to describe a distressing or violent incident.
UK employment status
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- Verbal communication
- Written communication
- Attention to detail
- Developing a plan
- Time management
- Making decisions
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