Director of Public Prosecutions
Mr. Christopher Nelson
To provide effective prosecution in all criminal related matters so as to ensure that the right persons are prosecuted for the right offenses and that all relevant facts are given to the court.
To develop an effective prosecution team for the maintenance of Law and Order in the State.
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
: Upper Church Street
St. George’s, Grenada, W.I.
: +1 (473) 435-5566
: +1 (473) 435-5624
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) represents the State in criminal cases. The community’s interest is that the guilty be brought to justice and the innocent not be wrongly convicted. The main function of the ODPP is to prosecute criminal matters in the Magistrates (limited), District, Supreme and Mental Health Courts, the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Grenada.
Role and Ethics
The prosecutor occupies a powerful and privileged position. The decisions the prosecutor takes may profoundly affect the lives of others. A prosecution must only be brought for good cause. No one should ever be prosecuted simply because he or she may have committed an offence, or even probably has.
The decision whether to prosecute is among the most important decisions the prosecutor has to make. Great care must be taken in each case to ensure that the right decision is made. A wrong decision to prosecute, as well as a wrong decision not to prosecute, has the potential to undermine public confidence in the criminal process. There is little margin for error.
When at court, the prosecutor must at all times act independently. In the discharge of the prosecution function, the prosecutor is as independent as the judge and magistrate. The interest of the prosecutor at all times is to assist the court to achieve justice. A fair trial is one in which all relevant evidence is presented, tested and adjudicated upon according to law. As the representative of the public interest, the prosecutor must guard against the conviction of the innocent. The prosecutor should:
- Ensure that the prosecution case is firmly and fairly put.
- Vigorously test the defence case, but with courtesy, and temperately.
- Avoid submissions of fact or law which are not soundly based
- Prevent prejudice or emotion in the conduct of the case.
- Reveal the existence of material that may assist the accused.
- Invite the court to stop the proceedings if the point is reached at which he or she concludes there is no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction.
- 3.3.7 Use all legitimate means to achieve a just disposal of the issues in contention.
The Code will apply from 7th January 2013.
The Code is not an instruction manual for prosecutors, nor does it necessarily cover every decision that must be made by prosecutors, police or other investigators. The Code does not purport to lay down any rule of law. However, as the Code reflects the aspirations and practices of prosecutors who adhere to the UN Guidelines on the Role of the Prosecutor and the International Association of Prosecutors Standards (1999), it is the expectation that all prosecutions in Grenada will be conducted in accordance with the principles in the Code.
Prosecutors must ensure they are fully conversant with and apply the Constitutional Provisions for the Protection of the Right to Personal Liberty (Section 3) and all laws governing bail. In particular, if the trial of a defendant remanded in custody has not started in a reasonable time then, in accordance with Section 3(5), the prosecutor will not oppose any bail application but may put forward reasonable conditions.
Prosecutors must always bear in mind that bail is not to be withheld as a form of punishment or prejudging of a case. Prosecutors should start on the basis that bail (with or without conditions) should be granted. They should only oppose bail where they believe that it is in the interests of justice and society as a whole that bail should not be granted.
When deciding whether or not to oppose bail prosecutors must consider carefully; the law; the charges; the strength of the evidence; the protection of victims, witnesses and the general public; the personal circumstances of the defendant; the likelihood of the commission of further offences if granted bail; the likelihood of failure to attend court; and any other relevant factors.
Prosecutors must be fair and firm when considering a response to an application for bail. In every case where there is an application for bail the prosecutor must study the case docket before preparing an affidavit in response.
If legal issues arise concerning bail when a prosecutor who is not a lawyer has conduct of a case, then it must be referred immediately to the DPP or a nominated person. The prosecutor must seek and accept police expertise as to any bail risks presented by the defendant, however, the ultimate decision as to what will be said to the Court about eligibility for bail is the responsibility of the prosecutor. This is not incompatible with the role of the police whose legitimate views as to bail must be placed before the Court.
The prosecutor will fairly consider any application for bail on appeal taking into account those matters raised at above and in particular the strength of evidence (on appeal against conviction) and the reasonable prospects of success of the appeal
The prosecutor seeks to ensure that the offender does not profit from his or her criminal conduct. The confiscation of the proceeds of crime is an issue to be considered from the outset of all cases where profit is or may be involved. Confiscation should not be viewed as a mere optional addition to sentence proceedings or to the conduct of a prosecution.
If it is necessary to prevent the dissipation of profits which might be required to satisfy a confiscation order, the prosecutor should apply at an early stage for a restraint order. After conviction, the prosecutor must apply, where appropriate, for a confiscation order.