Interview with Lord Ken Macdonald, former Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales

Friday 1 August 2014

Lord Ken Macdonald, former Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales, discusses a wide range of issues in this interview with the IBA's Rebecca Lowe, including prosecuting fraud, the balance between security and freedom, and press and police reform. A list of specific topics and timings can be found underneath the film.


Section 1: Prosecuting fraud

00.00: Financial crisis and tackling fraud
1.56: The need for a ‘super prosecutor’
2.27: Cuts to the Serious Fraud Office
3.33: Lack of morale, expertise and resources in UK prosecution services
5.15: In-house advocacy at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
6.00: Jailing bankers?
7.25: Prosecuting companies and the problem of the UK’s ‘guiding mind’ concept
8.20: The government and ‘friends’ in the City
9.15: UK’s new fraud prosecution service – step in right direction?
10.25: Depletion of specialist fraud squads
11.40: Deferred prosecution agreements
14.14: Holding corporations to account for human rights abuses

Section 2: Press and police reform

15.40: Leveson and the need for press reform
17.45: Media ‘crimes’ and the public interest defence
18.50: Cover-up payments and criticisms of the police
20.20: ‘The failure to reinvestigate is difficult to understand’
21.06: The role of the CPS in phone hacking
23.02: 'Cosiness' between police and the press
24.08: ‘It’s not surprising the police chose to prioritise terrorism’
24.26: Phone hacking blown out of proportion?
25.14: Urgent need for police reform: ‘there is a problem with credibility’
26.58: Need for a royal commission ‘to have a really good look at policing’
27.45: Reforming the Independent Police Complaints Commission

Section 3: Security v freedom

28.20: Snowden revelations and need for oversight and transparency
31.25: Response to Snowden in US compared to UK
32.15: Reforming the UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee
33.48: Secret courts and concerns of transparency
34.55: Secret courts and balancing security and justice
36.05: Extraordinary rendition and the need for better scrutiny
38.07: UK attempts to block release of CIA torture files
38.52: Terrorism and pre-trial detention
42.07: Guantanamo Bay and US as ‘symbol of hypocrisy’
44.52: Dealing with terrorists in the theatre of war
45:49: Legality of drone strikes