Entitled ‘The Public Prosecutor’s Perspective’, an audience of law and criminology staff and students received a fascinating and personal insight into his career and the work of the Crown Prosecution Service.
Mr. Afzal started his career as a law student at the University of Birmingham and Guildford Law School and then became a defence solicitor before swapping sides and joining the CPS as a prosecutor. During the lecture, Mr Afzal discussed the complex and controversial cases that he has been involved with and the decisions that he has had to make, from taking on one of the first corruption cases in cricket against the South African captain Hansie Cronje, to deciding to prosecute the Rochdale Nine sex abuse ring and leading on the murder of Anuj Bidve.
He also emphasised the importance of engaging with the media and informing the public of how a case is progressing, why decisions have been made and how cases such as those involving the allegations against the late Sir Cyril Smith would be treated very differently now to how they were in the 1970s and 1980s.
Mr. Afzal gave the audience a real taste of his daily job and how it goes beyond a simple understanding of the law and emphasised the importance of transparency and openness in a senior role such has his.