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Director of Public Prosecutions

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 10 May 2018

The recruitment campaign for the next Director of Public Prosecutions is under way and is due to close on 14 May. The job requires excellent legal judgment, the ability to lead a large organisation and the capacity to work with others in improving the criminal justice system as a whole. This is an exciting time to be joining the Crown Prosecution Service and to play a pivotal role in shaping the organisation for the future.

The Attorney General will be aware that many concerns about disclosure have been an issue with the CPS in recent months. Can he confirm that the new DPP will have enough resources to tackle this time-intensive task?

The hon. Lady knows that I am aware of those concerns, and she also knows that we are looking at disclosure more broadly, as I instituted a review in December last year. She is, however, right to say that one of the primary tasks of the present DPP, as well as the next one, is to get disclosure right throughout the range of cases taken on by the CPS. I will continue to discuss resources with the DPP and, indeed, Government colleagues.

Will the Attorney General bear in mind the widely held opinion that the important, delicate and often finely balanced judgments that the DPP must make require informed views that result from lengthy frontline experience of prosecuting serious cases day in, day out, at the highest level, and that that must be an important consideration when selecting the successor to the current DPP?

My hon. Friend is right. He is aware of the statutory requirement that applicants have at least 10 years’ practising experience, but the matter that he raises will also be an important consideration.