HeadofLegal and Peter Hargreaves in the comments section and also CharonQC’s podcast with HeadofLegal. Also Unity (except for the bit about OSA, I think) and various commenters there, particularly HeadofLegal; also Marcel Berlins.
For me, the key principle is “does this conduct amount to a criminal offence”?
Not all disclosures are criminal and not all means of disclosure are criminal. Of course the conduct of the civil servant might amount to a disciplinary matter – indeed I’d be surprised if it didn’t. Then of course the employee would try to engage whistleblower protection.
If the answer is in the affirmative, “yes it does amount to a criminal offence”, then “is it in the public interest to proceed with a criminal investigation or is it better handled in an alternative way?” Also, “is it in the public interest to conduct a criminal investigation in a particular fashion?”
(This of course refers to the alleged “heavy-handedness”, searches of offices, Parliament, and homes and so on.)
And of course the CPS will have to decide if there is a public interest in prosecuting anyone – they don’t simply prosecute on the basis that they believe someone has committed a criminal offence.
I do think all this is a bit rich given how many leaks there are at all levels. In terms of the civil servant leaking to a particular party, the accusation of partisanship seems fair until you have a think about which reporters (working for which media outlets) are leaked to by the Government – they are of course the outlets it is considered politically expedient to leak to.
I hope this episode prompts a wider debate regarding what public sector information should be made available, when, and and how, but I fear this will be lost in the mudslinging.
The jury at the inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes will not be able to consider a verdict of unlawful killing, the coroner has said.
Sir Michael Wright said that having heard all the evidence, a verdict of unlawful killing was “not justified”. …