In efforts to raise the quality of prosecution in Dominican courts, police prosecutors will be moved into the physical office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Attorney General Francine Baron-Royer made the disclosuer during a ceremony to mark the opening of the new law year at the High Court Monday morning.
Noting that many prosecutors here are untrained, Baron-Royer said that this measure will allow prosecutors to benefit from the guidance of the DPP.
“In Dominica, a great deal of matters are prosecuted at the magistrate’s court level by police prosecutors who have no formal legal training. This can be perceived as placing them at a disadvantage when often times they come up against trained lawyers…” Baron-Royer stated.
“…. However, one must always look towards improving one’s ability to carry out one’s task to the highest standard and as such we are currently looking at the logistics of bringing all police prosecutors within the same physical space as the Director of Public Prosecutions so that they can benefit more effectively from his direct input and guidance. This is the purview to raising even higher the quality of prosecution in our courts,” she stated.
In recent times, persons have made calls for police prosecutors to receive more formal training in order to better prosecute criminals.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Dominica Police Force, Inspector Claude Weekes had said in a public forum, that a lack of qualified police prosecutors within the court system was posing a hindrance to the efficiency of the local justice system.
“Lawyers are trained three, four, five, six years and a policeman goes to Morne Bruce, he eventually becomes a corporal or sergeant, and then you give him six, seven, eight, nine, ten, twenty case files to go before Mr. Behanzin and to stand up against those … who have PHD in the field. You expect him to prosecute properly? He will not be able to prosecute properly…” the inspector stated.
Magistrate Tiyani Behanzin had also made a similar call.
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