A trade union representing Crown prosecutors has written to the attorney general saying that comments he made about disclosure do not resemble the day-to-day reality of prosecutors' work.
In a letter to Jeremy Wright QC MP, Steven Littlewood, FDA national officer, says he was 'extremely disappointed' to hear Wright tell Radio 4's Today programme that disclosure is 'basic stuff' and that it was 'not true' that resources were a problem in the CPS. Littlewood says the comments 'are unrecognisable to anyone who has had recent frontline experience of review lawyer work'.
Standing up for our members, National Officer @FDASteven has written to the Attorney-General following his inaccurate claim that #Disclosure is “basic stuff” and his unwarranted criticism of Prosecutors#CPS pic.twitter.com/rbqvmA5tNp— FDA CPS Section (@FDA_CPS_Section) February 2, 2018
He adds: 'The nature of the unused materials provided to CPS prosecutors by police has transformed in the last 20 years from a page or two of paper to thousands of pages worth of text messages, emails and social media communications. This is very far from "basic stuff", it is complex work undertaken by highly-trained professionals.'
Littlewood notes that the number of CPS prosecutors has fallen by over 30% since 2010. 'Simply put, the current issues around disclosure cannot be separated from the under-resourcing of the CPS', he says.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office said: 'We have received the FDA's letter and will respond shortly. The CPS acknowledges mistakes have been made in some cases and has apologised. There are clear issues with the disclosure process more broadly which is why the attorney general launched a review. We would encourage the FDA's members to feed into that review.'
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