His Excellency the Governor, Duncan Taylor, is delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Cheryll Richards, QC, as Cayman's first ever Director of Public Prosecutions. Ms Richards was appointed on the advice of Judicial and Legal Services Commission and will formally take up her post on 1 May 2011.
The Judicial and Legal Services Commission recently carried out an open recruitment process, and the post was advertised locally and overseas.
Following an initial short-listing process, the Deputy Governor chaired an interview panel which comprised three members of the JLSC and the Acting Chief Officer for the Portfolio of the Civil Service.
Four people were interviewed, two of which were local candidates. Following the interviews, the recruitment panel was unanimous in its view that one candidate was clearly the strongest, this being Ms Richards.
In the new Constitution, the Director of Public Prosecutions will be the public officer responsible for instituting, continuing or discontinuing public prosecutions on behalf of government.
The DPP will be totally independent and will not be under the control of any other person or authority and will be a Chief Officer in her own right.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Portfolio of Legal Affairs will be split between criminal and civil matters and by 1 November 2011, it is anticipated that each portfolio will be accommodated separately.
The role of the Attorney General and the Solicitor General will change as a result of this appointment. However, the Attorney General will continue to speak on all legal affairs in Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly.
Ms. Cheryll Richards has twenty five years' experience as a Prosecutor appearing before all tiers of courts. She joined the staff of the Cayman Islands' Attorney General's Chambers as a Prosecutor in 1996.
In 2005 she was appointed Solicitor General and was Chief Officer responsible for the Portfolio of Legal Services which included the Law School, criminal and civil division and legal drafting. Ms. Richards was appointed Queens Counsel in November 2009.