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Crown Prosecution Service: Disclosure Obligations

Volume 638: debated on Thursday 22 March 2018

7. What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the resources available to the CPS to fulfil its disclosure obligations. (904515)

The Director of Public Prosecutions has made it clear that the disclosure problems we have been seeing are not caused by resource issues. The challenges are broad and stretch across the criminal justice system, which is why I am pleased that the police and the CPS have come together to take forward their national disclosure improvement plan. As the hon. Lady knows, I am also undertaking a wider review of disclosure, which aims to report by this summer.

With so much communication on digital platforms, disclosure is becoming more time-consuming, and without proper resources we cannot have an effective disclosure process. What is the Attorney General going to do about it?

The hon. Lady is right. In essence, two sets of problems are occurring with disclosure. One is in relation to so-called acquaintance rape cases where, frankly, information that should be disclosed and identified simply has not been. The other set of cases involves exactly the issue she raises: very large quantities of digital material. We have to find smarter ways to analyse and winnow such information so that the right things are disclosed. That is exactly the sort of thing my review will look at.