The QC in charge of reviewing terrorism legislation will take over from Alison Saunders as the next director of public prosecutions, the attorney general announced today. Max Hill, a former Criminal Bar Association chair, says he is determined to restore public trust in the CPS, which has been heavily criticised for disclosure failures.
The Attorney General's Office announced today that Hill will leave his posts as head of Red Lion Chambers in London and the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation to lead the CPS from 1 November for a five-year renewable term.
Hill is a former leader of the South Eastern Circuit and was instructed in the second set of trials concerning 10-year-old schoolboy Damilola Taylor's killing and acted for the Metropolitan Police in the inquests into the 2005 London bombings.
Hill also appeared as lead prosecution counsel in Channel 4's The Trial in which real juries, barristers and judges tried a fictional murder case to highlight how the jury system works.
Last week the House of Commons justice select committee said it expected the next DPP to 'proactively address' disclosure throughout their tenure. 'The culture of "it didn't start on my watch" is pervasive and undermining of public confidence. It must not continue,' MPs said.
Hill said today that he looks forward to building on Saunders' legacy but acknowledged that 'this is a challenging time' for the CPS. 'I have seen first-hand the sterling work of the CPS and I am determined to restore public trust in all of its work,' he insisted.
The attorney general, Geoffrey Cox QC MP, said Hill has 'demonstrated a profound commitment both to the criminal justice system and to public service' and was grateful to him for 'taking on these onerous responsibilities'.
Chris Henley QC, CBA vice chair, said: 'In [Hill] the CPS will have at its helm at a time of critical change a first-class legal brain steeped in proven experience at the highest level in both prosecution and defence work, who can re-energise a fundamental pillar of the criminal justice system. The government needs to back the incoming director of public prosecutions with sustainable funding to reverse years of damaging cuts.'
After her tenure ends, Saunders move to magic circle firm Linklaters, where she has been elected to be a dispute resolution partner.