Hundreds of years of court tradition that advocates were independent of the state ended when the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) began employing its own barristers.
It means less work and less money for the self-employed briefs used to a monopoly – but many believe there’s a decline in standards and a risk to justice.
What do you think?
This week, we'd like to hear your thoughts on this question:
Should a greater part of the annual run of prosecutions be conducted by lawyers who are in the salary of the state?
Share your thoughts through the discussion thread below.
First broadcast: Friday 21 Nov 2008 on BBC TWO England & Northern Ireland