Desperate for something to fill the legal TV void left by BBC series Silk, which last aired nearly two years ago, Obiter excitedly rushed home last night to catch the first in a three-part series on the work of the Crown Prosecution Service.
The Prosecutors: Real Crime and Punishment seems to have attracted positive reviews from the national press. Less so from criminal law practitioners, though one suspects that could have something to do with comments made by director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders (pictured) in the first episode.
The CPS, Saunders said, was trying to make sure cases in which the defendant pleads guilty pass through the system quickly. These cases, she says, are easier to deal with, and the punishment can be ‘more proximate’ to the offending and has more impact.
‘What we can’t control is what the defence wants to do,’ she added. ‘If the defence want to put us to proof about everything then we have to answer that, and that means the timescales extend.’
Clearly annoyed, Criminal Law Solicitors' Association chair Zoe Gascoyne tweeted: ‘Oh here we go, let’s blame “the defence” for the time delay.'
The Prosecutors: Real Crime and Punishment is on BBC Four on Wednesday at 9pm.