PPS to set up independent review of prosecutorial processes

21 October 2014

The Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory QC announced today that he is establishing an independent review of the prosecutorial systems and processes in relation to three interlinked cases involving sex abuse and terrorist related charges. 

Mr McGrory said: “I have carefully considered the range of issues that have been raised following the recent edition of BBC NI’s Spotlight programme 'A Woman Alone with the IRA'.

“While it would not be appropriate for the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to enter into a media discussion about evidential aspects of these particular cases, I consider that an independent, external scrutiny of our processes and procedures is warranted. 

“It is of concern to the PPS to maintain public confidence in our services and in the wider criminal justice system. We understand how difficult it can be for victims and witnesses to come forward, particularly in cases involving sexual abuse offences and we will do all in our power to ensure that they and the wider public can feel confident in the independent role of the PPS. 

“The PPS takes all of its decisions independently, applying the Test for Prosecution without fear or favour. I consider that there are particular challenges in prosecuting complex and interlinked cases, as in this instance, involving serious sexual abuse and terrorist related charges and involving multiple complainants and multiple defendants.  This independent review will consider all aspects of the prosecution of these cases and if there are lessons to be learned, we will do so, openly and transparently.” 

Note to editors: 

 
1. The Review will focus on the prosecution of R v M Morris and R v M Morris, J Finucane, P Wilson, A McCrory and B Wright. 
 
2. The Independent Review will be conducted by an independent legal expert, who will be announced in due course. 
 
3. The PPS co-ordinator for the independent review will be its Deputy Director, Pamela Atchison.     
   
For further information please call PPS Communications on 02890897187 or out of hours officer on 07790 031568. Email: ppspressoffice@ppsni.gov.uk