UK: Director of Public Prosecutions to step down
02 Apr 2018

Alison Saunders CB, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for England and Wales, is to step down in October, according to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

Saunders, who began her 5 year term in November 2013, will join the law firm Linklaters.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve as the first Director of Public Prosecutions appointed from within the CPS,” she said.

“The criminal justice landscape is changing rapidly, as crime trends shift and courts become increasingly digital.

“Our work is now more complex, with the evolving nature of economic crime, the ongoing terrorism threat and a huge increase in reports of historic sexual abuse.”

She has, however, been criticised “after several rape trials collapsed due to evidence not being disclosed,” the BBC reported.

It emerged that “the number of prosecutions in England and Wales that had collapsed because of a failure to disclose evidence had increased by 70% in the previous two years.”

An AGO spokesman said,: “Disclosure failings by the CPS and Police are bigger than one person. While there is much work to be done by the CPS to fix the problems, the DPP was and will remain a part of this process until she leaves – not a blockage to it.”

The UK is now looking to recruit a new DPP.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP said: “‎In recruiting the next DPP we are looking for an extraordinary candidate. 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.”

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