The pursuit of legal proceedings, particularly criminal proceedings. The term is also used for the party instituting the proceedings. Criminal prosecutions are normally in the name of the Crown and the duty of conducting them now falls principally upon the Crown Prosecution Service. The consent of the Attorney General may be required before prosecution for some offences, as in cases involving national security. A private individual may bring a prosecution (most often for assault), as might a corporation (as for theft from a shop).