Saint Lucia’s Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, Victoria Charles-Clarke, has discounted what she says is the public impression that the criminal justice system is solely and totally the responsibility of the DPP, saying that her department is merely one of the agents within the system.
“We receive cases from the Police, investigated by the Police and upon receipt of these we peruse the files to see if there is sufficient evidence. We go through the sufficiency hearing stage. Then the Judicial Officer determines whether or not the evidence is sufficient to commit the person to trial,” Charles-Clarke said.
Addressing a news conference this week, she explained that once that individual is committed for trial, then the DPP would proffer an indictment.
“There are lawyers involved in the matter who make applications, there are the Judicial Officers who take certain decisions or positions relating to these cases. The Judicial Officers fix the dates – all the dates for the matters once they are lodged in the court,” the DPP observed.
According to Charles-Clarke, the DPP has no control over these dates except to say that the DPP’s office is ready or not.
“So it is not the DPP who is responsible for all the delays and the backlogs and all the people on remand, It is the system, that is how the system operates,” she declared.