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Criminal Law Quarterly. Volume 55 (2010), p. 479-485.


Professor Stenning is to be congratulated for providing a fresh and timely perspective on some crucial dilemmas of prosecutorial decision-making, and for grounding his incisive analysis in a close discussion of a particularly provocative case emerging from the U.K. House of Lords in 2008. The core conundrum he addresses in his paper is the long-standing one of what should be the contours of the role played by a jurisdiction's Attorney General in prosecutorial decision-making. The context here is one in which attorneys general have multiple and significant responsibilities in governmental arenas. Specifically, he poses two questions about the Attorney General's role. The first is (i) are we close to achieving "institutional arrangements and constitutional conventions and practices" which will guarantee "a satisfactory balance between political independence and political accountability of those with ultimate responsibility for prosecutorial decision-making?". The second question is (ii) 'are we closer to achieving consensus about what such a 'satisfactory balance' might be?" The article ultimately answers both of these questions in the negative.


Published and distributed by Thomson Reuters (c)2010.

Reproduced from Mary G. Condon, “Commentary on 'Prosecutions, Politics, and the Public Interest: Some Developments in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Elsewhere'”, (2010) 55 C.L.Q. 479-485, by permission of Thomson Reuters Canada Limited.

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