Failure to disclose evidence largest cause of miscarriages of justice

A shortage of adequately trained Disclosure and Investigation Officers is resulting in criminals escaping justice, with unsafe convictions leading to their trials collapsing in the courtroom.

Late last year, both Watchdog and the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) highlighted the growing issue as the single biggest cause of miscarriages of justice.

A combination of technological challenges and funding cuts is putting huge pressure on the criminal justice system, but whilst disclosure failures represent just 0.15% of the total number of prosecutions, the number is still too high.

In 2017, it was reported that 916 people had charges dropped over a failure to disclose evidence – a staggering increase in comparison to 537 in 2014-15.

To help those responsible fulfil vital disclosure obligations and minimise the increasing number of collapsed cases, Intqual-pro have become the UK’s first provider of an officially regulated qualification in Understanding Disclosure of Information, following the development of the qualification with ProQual Awarding Body.

But this isn’t an issue that has sprung from nowhere. In an annual report five years ago, former Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service, Richard Foster, highlighted the avoidable disclosure problems and recently stated that the criminal justice system had “systemic weaknesses”.

With figures showing a 70% increase in disclosure failings over the last two years, it is clear that this is an area for which formal training and assessment would be of significant benefit. While the course is designed for those performing the role of Disclosure or Investigation Officer, it can also be relevant for evidence assessors, decision makers, as well as staff in criminal justice units and prosecution agencies.

Intqual-pro are the UK’s leading provider of regulated Intelligence qualifications and the new ProQual Level 4 Award in Understanding Disclosure of Information can be undertaken as an added value opportunity to existing programmes.

The course aims to enhance understanding and awareness of the responsibilities associated with disclosure and provide learners with the confidence to be involved in the disclosure process and effectively carry out their role.

View Qualification Handbook

You can find out more about this new qualification by contacting Intqual-pro directly by calling 01234 381158 or emailing enquiries@intqual-pro.com.

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