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Director of Public Prosecutions

Volume 691: debated on Monday 16 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith on 14 March (WA 126), what level or number of criminal convictions would be a barrier to appointment to the post of Director of Public Prosecutions. [HL2944]

Appointment to the post of Director of Public Prosecutions depends on a consideration of all relevant factors concerning the qualification, experience, skills and personal characteristics of applicants and their overall suitability for this post. The person appointed must be a qualified lawyer with rights of audience, so any conviction resulting in the withdrawal of such rights would be a complete bar to appointment.

Whilst there is otherwise no formal bar to appointment based on a particular number or type of previous convictions, the fact of any such convictions, their age, nature, seriousness and circumstances would have to be carefully assessed to determine whether a particular applicant, even if otherwise the strongest candidate, should in fact not be appointed.