Westminster Legal Policy Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

Evidence gathering and prosecution rates in the criminal justice system - priorities for the Royal Commission, forensic science, witness statements and the processing of digital evidence

Morning, Monday, 28th September 2020



This conference will be a timely opportunity to consider the treatment and effective use of evidence in the criminal justice system - including the delivery of forensic science services and the challenges arising from the growth of digital forms of evidence.

The seminar will also provide an opportunity to discuss future priorities for the Royal Commission on the criminal justice system, recently announced by the Government with the aim of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the system - which is likely to include examining prosecution models in other jurisdictions such as Scotland where prosecutors have powers to direct police investigations into serious crimes.

The conference is also timed to consider further key issues for forensic evidence and prosecutions:

  • Concerns over conviction rates - with statistics from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) showing that prosecutions of rape cases are at their lowest levels in over a decade;
  • Increasing protection of vulnerable witnesses - in light of CPS changes to guidance;
  • Provision of forensic science services - with a government commitment to giving the Forensic Science Regulator statutory powers and the creation of a Forensic Science Board; and
  • Pressure on law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and services - that are being linked to funding, as well as an increasing volume of digital evidence.

Speakers and chair

The agenda includes keynote addresses from:

  • Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, Crown Prosecution Service;
  • Alison Di Rollo QC,The Solicitor General for Scotland;
  • Dr Gillian Tully, Forensic Science Regulator; and
  • Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave, Lead for Criminal Justice, National Police Chiefs Council.

Further confirmed speakers include: Jodie BlackstockJUSTICE; James Clery, Clery Forensic Research and Consulting; Jimmy Cockerton, Microsoft; Dr Jo Easton, Magistrates AssociationDr. Marilena Kyriakidou, Sheffield Hallam University; and Professor Peter SommerBirmingham City University.

Rt Hon Liz Saville Roberts MP, Plaid Cymru Spokesperson (Justice) has kindly agreed to chair part of this seminar.

The agenda

  • New evidence: prosecuting crime in 2020;
  • The COPFS and Scotland’s prosecution model - how it works in practice;
  • Evidence in criminal cases - changes to cross-examination, written statements, and improving crime-solving rates;
  • Technology in evidence gathering and disclosure - its use and impact;
  • Forensic science and criminal justice - standards, statutory powers, and investment in R&D; and
  • Digital evidence - disclosure, new developments, the secure processing of personal information, and how its increased use is affecting the criminal justice system.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

This Westminster Legal Policy Forum conference has attracted particularly strong interest from policymakers. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: HMCTS; Ministry of Justice; the Attorney General's Office; the Crown Prosecution Service; the National Crime AgencyHMPPS; Home Office; the Department for Transport; HM Revenue & Customs; and the National Audit Office.  

Keynote Speaker

Max Hill QC

Director of Public Prosecutions, Crown Prosecution Service

Keynote Speakers

Dr Gillian Tully

Forensic Science Regulator

Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave

Lead for Criminal Justice, National Police Chief's Council and Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service

Max Hill QC

Director of Public Prosecutions, Crown Prosecution Service

Alison Di Rollo QC

The Solicitor General for Scotland


Rt Hon Liz Saville Roberts MP

Plaid Cymru Spokesperson (Justice)


Jodie Blackstock

Legal Director, JUSTICE

Professor Peter Sommer

Professor of Digital Forensics, Birmingham City University

Dr Jo Easton

Deputy Chief Executive and Director, Policy and Research, Magistrates Association

Dr. Marilena Kyriakidou

Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, Sheffield Hallam University

James Clery

Senior Forensic Scientist, Clery Forensic Research and Consulting

Jimmy Cockerton

UK Police Lead, Microsoft