After letting the cameras into the Crown Prosecution Service for BBC real-life series The Prosecutors, director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders is probably wishing there hadn’t been a camera for her appearance in front of the Public Accounts Committee yesterday.

Discussing efficiency in the criminal justice system, Saunders mentioned 'PTPH'.

'What’s PTPH?', Obiter hears everyone but criminal practitioners ask. Not surprisingly, a committee member asked Saunders to spell it out.

’PTPH is the pre-trial hearing. I think I might have got it wrong. I can explain what it was…’, a hesitant Saunders replied from the hot seat. 

’You know it comes to something when the witnesses in front of us don’t even know what their own acronyms mean,’ a rather unimpressed Stephen Phillips QC MP, said.

Saunders’ defence? ’It’s not my acronym. It’s a joint [MoJ and CPS] one.’

PTPH, in case you and Saunders were wondering, stands for plea and trial preparation hearing.