The new Director of Public Prosecutions is the first head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to use Twitter.
Max Hill QC revealed he would retain the social media account @MaxHillQC, which he has used since 2013, during his new role, in addition to the CPS account.
In an interview posted on the website of Red Lion Chambers, the set he has led for the last six years, he said: ‘I can’t pretend that I’ll be able to use it with any great frequency, but social media is part of the way that we talk to each other in this country now – it is part of the way that we reflect our views.’
He also revealed that he read an English translation of the Koran ‘from cover to cover’ over two weeks on holiday in Turkey. ‘It seemed to me to be relevant to the work I was doing as independent terrorism reviewer,’ he said, adding that ‘spending some time concentrating on what the peaceful mainstream major religions of the world have to say is not time wasted’.
Hill reiterated his desire to ‘restore confidence and to restore trust’ in the prosecution service after the disclosure failures that led to the collapse of a series of trials. ‘That is my intention, [that] will be my constant work throughout my five years in office and I hope that by the end of that time the CPS will be seen for what it is – which is a highly successful organisation, which nonetheless works very hard to put things right on those occasions when something goes wrong.’
He also pledged to continue to rely on the external profession for a ‘very substantial portion of its courtroom advocacy’, but stressed that would be ‘in partnership’ with the ‘extremely good’ in-house crown advocates.
‘Crown advocates needn’t have anything to fear, nor need the independent Bar have anything to fear – we need each other in order to service the huge number of criminal prosecutions that are mounted every year – and that is the way forward,’ he said.
As she stepped down, his predecessor Alison Saunders told The Observer that the police and CPS were too under-resourced to tackle crimes efficiently, and said that the criminal justice system was at ‘creaking’ point and unable to cope with the huge amounts of evidence generated by technology. Lawyers criticised her for failing to raise the issue during her five years in office.
Meanwhile, BBC Radio 2 DJ Paul Gambaccini secured undisclosed damages from the CPS over unfounded allegations of historical sex offences made against him.