The Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory QC today (Wednesday 18 May) outlined the arrangements for an independent review of the implementation of the Starmer recommendations.
An assessment of a range of improvements in the conduct of prosecutions in complex cases involving murder and sexual offences will be carried out by Criminal Justice Inspection (CJI), supported by Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI).
Mr McGrory said: “Over the last year significant work has been carried out to improve the services delivered by the PPS. This has involved accelerating our transformation programme to take forward changes in key areas including the creation of a new centralised unit of senior prosecutors who will have a single focus on cases involving serious offences; a new strategic case management system and improved ways of working with Counsel.
“I have also sought to improve engagement with victims and our refreshed approach will inform our new victim and witness policy which will be issued for consultation shortly. I considered it important to keep the victims in the particular cases reviewed by Sir Keir Starmer informed of our programme of work and will continue to welcome any feedback that they may have.
“I have invited the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland, Mr Brendan McGuigan, to carry out a review of these changes. I see this as an important step both in terms of meeting the recommendations of the Starmer Review and as an opportunity to ensure that the changes we have made provide for a more effective service.”
The Review team is expected to complete its report later in the year.
Referring to the CJI review Mr McGuigan said: "I welcome the opportunity for CJI to support the PPS in taking forward this important work and to provide the Director of Public Prosecutions with an independent assessment of the impact of the changes that have been made to date.
"I believe this inspection work will assist the PPS in ensuring that the prosecution of complex cases involving murder and sexual offences is carried out in the most effective and efficient manner, which will benefit the victims of these most serious crimes and society as a whole."
Note to editors
1. The Starmer Review, which was published in May 2015, was an independent review of the prosecution of three interlinked cases involving sex abuse and terrorist-related charges. The Director of Public Prosecutions asked Sir Keir Starmer to identify any recommendations to improve the services of the PPS as part of his review. Sir Keir made ten recommendations to the PPS in his report.