The Howard League Lecture 2014
Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions
The lecture was held on Thursday 23 October 2014 at Clifford Chance.
The event included presentations of the John Sunley Prize. The John Sunley Prize was established to celebrate impact of post graduate research into penal issues.
Alison Saunders, a barrister, joined the CPS in 1986, the year it was formed. Prior to that, she worked at Lloyds of London following her pupilage. She is the first DPP to be appointed from within the CPS.
Alison spent her early CPS career prosecuting in CPS London South. In 1991 she moved to the CPS Policy Directorate where she developed an expertise in issues involving child victims and witnesses. Alison rejoined CPS London in 1997 and was promoted to Assistant Chief Crown Prosecutor in 1999.
In 2001, Alison became Chief Crown Prosecutor for Sussex, where she oversaw the successful prosecution of Roy Whiting for the abduction and murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne.
She served as Deputy Legal Advisor to the Attorney General from 2003 before re-joining the CPS two years later to set up and head the Organised Crime Division (OCD), which dealt exclusively with cases from Serious Organised Crime Agency and Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre and operated internationally as well as in England and Wales.
In December 2009, Alison was appointed the Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London and led the significant restructure of the Area. CPS London deals with over 20% of the CPS work. It has over 1,200 staff who deal with over 200,000 cases each year. While at CPS London, Alison has been heavily involved in high profile cases such as the retrial in Stephen Lawrence’s murder case and the London disorder cases.
In the 2013 New Year Honours, she was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) “for services to Law and Order especially after the 2011 London Riots.”
On 1 November 2013, Alison was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions.