Public trust in the CPS has been seriously undermined following disclosure failings that led to the collapse of a number of criminal trials. In spring 2018 parliament began an inquiry into the current problems. A number of the criminal solicitors at Hodge Jones & Allen worked closely with a group of other criminal defence firms and barristers to submit evidence to the Justice Select Committee based on our collective experiences.
Last week the Justice committee published their findings. We are delighted that our concerns and travesty of disclosure failings and the impact they have on the criminal justice system has been acknowledged. The Justice Select Committee has made it clear there needs to be a shift in culture by the prosecution towards viewing disclosure as a core justice duty and not one that is just to be considered as an administrative add-on. Changes have begun. Yesterday the newly appointed DPP, Max Hill QC, vowed to restore public trust in the CPS.
“Hodge Jones & Allen are a law firm committed to protecting our clients’ rights. Disclosure of any evidence which might assist a defendant at trial or would undermine the prosecution case is essential in guaranteeing the right to a fair trial and we welcome the findings. Miscarriages of justice are not confined to the past they can all too easily happen today. To prevent them the highest standards are required from those who investigate and prosecute to ensure the integrity of the justice system is maintained.”