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News and Events > CJI News Archive > 2015 > October - December > Substantial change required by PSNI and PPS to address failings around case files and disclosure.
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Substantial change required by PSNI and PPS to address failings around case files and disclosure.


Substantial change required by PSNI and PPS to address failings around case files and disclosure.

26/11/2015
In CJI’s latest report, published today, the Chief Inspector, Brendan McGuigan, called for greater collaboration between the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland (PPS), to address significant failings in the preparation of case files and the standards applied around disclosure. View full report page.

In CJI’s latest report, published today, the Chief Inspector calls for greater collaboration between the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland (PPS), to address significant failings in the preparation of case files and the standards applied around disclosure.
 
"With over 45,500 case files submitted by police officers to prosecutors in 2013-14, putting together a timely case file that is of sufficient quality to be considered for prosecution, and used to present evidence in court, is a fundamental strand of an efficient criminal justice system," said Mr McGuigan, Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland.
 
"Disclosure is also an integral part of the criminal justice process and when statutory obligations are not met, it can lead to a number of potentially damaging outcomes including abuse of process arguments at trial and the acquittal of an accused person” he continued.
 
Among the recommendations made in this report, Inspectors suggest that in order to tackle current problems and raise disclosure standards the police and prosecution should immediately establish a joint Prosecution Team to address poor practice and deliver change and a new central Disclosure Unit should be created within the PSNI.
 
"The leadership of both the PSNI and the PPS have accepted the inspection findings.  They have given a commitment to work in co-operation to improve file quality standards and compliance around their disclosure duties. I am heartened by the steps already taken by both organisations, to establish the Prosecution Team and achieve the six strategic recommendations made in this report” concluded Mr McGuigan.


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