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DPP to discuss prosecutorial independence and the rule of law

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The Director of Public Prosecutions will discuss the importance of fair and independent prosecutions during a time of national emergency at an online event hosted by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law tomorrow (Friday, 18 September).

Max Hill QC will be in conversation with journalist Razia Iqbal at 2pm for a webinar titled Prosecuting in the Public Interest: Independence Without Isolation, which will address how independent prosecutions underpin the Rule of Law and protect the public interest.

The discussion will cover issues including what independence means for the Crown Prosecution Service in an extraordinary 2020 and beyond, and how that is balanced with a need to be collaborative, responsive and adaptable in a changing world - and the importance of each of these qualities in maintaining public confidence in the criminal justice system.

Ahead of the event, the DPP has published an accompanying essay titled “Prosecuting in the public interest: Independence without isolation” which also sets out his thoughts on how the CPS has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how he plans to navigate future challenges.

Mr Hill introduces his essay by saying: “The coronavirus pandemic has altered many facets of our lives beyond recognition – and the criminal justice system is no exception. The circumstances in which we operate changed completely in March this year, and the way the CPS works shifted dramatically in a very short space of time.

“In navigating this unprecedented period, we have remained firmly rooted in our mission to deliver fair and independent prosecutions, which underpin the rule of law and protect the public interest. Independence was one of our founding principles when the CPS was created in 1986, and it has remained the central thread in our story.”

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