Lecture on "the law in action" by Max Hill KC, Director of Public Prosecutions

On 24 February, the Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK, Max Hill KC, presented a lecture which investigated "the law in action: how prosecutors apply centuries of legislation to contemporary crime". 

Introduced by Professor Matt Dyson, Professor of Civil and Criminal Law at the Oxford Law Faculty, the lecture explored how the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) bridges the gap between legislation and individual cases by developing guidance to help deal with a wide range of offending in an evolving society.

Imagine the scenario: Mark harms Paul. He may have broken one of several laws. He may have broken none. So should Mark be prosecuted? Your first response may be "What does the law say?" - a helpful question, but alone it will not provide all the information you need. The law provides a set of rules, but everyday life - and by extension those actions that are potentially criminal - does not abide by an orderly structure. The CPS must consider the law, the evidence in the case, and whether it is in the public interest to prosecute someone for a crime. Its prosecutors translate legal rules and principles into everyday life - working out what they mean in practice for those brought into the criminal justice system for diverse and complex reasons.

You can read the full speech on the CPS website.

A drinks reception followed Max's lecture which gave attendees a chance to discuss the ideas and topics of the event.

Max Hill, KC, stands to talk while Prof Matt Dyson sits behind a desk
Photograph by Nicholas Posner