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Overview

The position of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was created by Section 57 of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009. On the 1st of May, 2011, the Governor appointed former Solicitor General, Ms. Cheryll M. Richards Q.C, as the islands' first DPP.

The DPP is responsible for all criminal proceedings brought within the Cayman Islands and is the Government's principal legal adviser on criminal matters.

The DPP is assisted by a Deputy Director, three Senior Crown Counsel and ten Crown Counsel.

Mission Statement

The Office of the DPP is committed to the prosecution of all criminal and traffic proceeding in a timely and efficient manner consistent with the interests of justice and to providing international legal assistance in all Mutual Legal Assistance, Extradition and Convention matters. It is our mission to uphold our responsibility as Ministers of Justice while seeking to serve the public interest and the criminal justice system with consistency, impartiality and integrity.

Role and Function

The role of the DPP as outlined in Section 57 of the Constitution is as follows:

  1. To institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person by any court in respect of any offence against any Law in force in the Cayman Islands.
  2. To take over and continue any criminal proceedings that have been instituted or undertaken by himself of herself or any other person or authority.
  3. To discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself of herself or any other person or authority.

The ODPP is primarily responsible for the prosecution of criminal matters in the Traffic Court, Magistrate Court, Grand Court and Court of Appeal. Crown Counsel are responsible for ruling on all files submitted by the Royal Cayman Island Police Service (RCIPS) pursuant to section 82 of the Police Law. The decision to charge is made in accordance with the Full Code Test set out in the UK Code for Crown Prosecutors which is referred to for guidance.

The ODPP is also responsible for provided general legal advice to the RCIPS and other Government departments on criminal proceedings.

The ODPP also receives and processes requests from Co-operating Countries in respect of Mutual Legal Assistance, Extradition and Convention Matters. Under the Criminal Justice International Co-operation Law, the DPP is Central Authority in respect of such matters.

Duties

Professional Conduct

  • At all times maintain the honour and dignity of their profession;
  • Always conduct themselves professionally, in accordance with the law and the rules and ethics of their profession;
  • At all times exercise the highest standards of integrity and care;
  • Keep themselves well informed and abreast of relevant legal developments;
  • Strive to be, and to be seen to be, consistent, independent and impartial;
  • Always protect an accused person's right to a fair trial, and in particular ensure that evidence favourable to the accused is disclosed in accordance with the law or the requirements of a fair trial;
  • Always serve and protect the public interest;
  • Respect, protect and uphold the universal concept of human dignity and human rights.

Impartiality

Prosecutors shall perform their duties without fear, favour or prejudice. In particular they shall:

  • Carry out their function impartially;
  • Remain unaffected by individual or sectional interests and public or media pressures and shall have regard only to the public interest;
  • Act with objectivity;
  • Have regard to all relevant circumstances, irrespective of whether they are to the advantage or disadvantage of the suspect;
  • In accordance with the law or the requirements of a fair trial, seek to ensure that all necessary and reasonable enquires are made and the result disclosed whether that points towards the guilt or the innocence of the suspect;
  • Always search for the truth and assist the court to arrive at the truth and to do justice between the community, the victim and the accused according to law and the dictates of fairness.

Decision to charge (Rulings)

The RCIPS submits all files for a decision to charge in accordance with section 82 of the Police Law.

Non-urgent files submitted to the ODPP for ruling are reviewed and usually ruled on within a maximum of fourteen (14) days. Some complex matters will require a longer period.

Urgent rulings are dealt with immediately on submission to the ODPP, primarily by Counsel who is not assigned to Court for that day.

The decision to charge is made in accordance with the tests set out in the UK Code for Crown Prosecutors.

Is there enough evidence against the defendant?

When deciding whether there is enough evidence to charge, Crown Counsel must consider whether evidence can be used in court and is reliable and credible.

Crown Counsel must be satisfied there is enough evidence to provide a "realistic prospect of conviction" against each defendant.

Is it in the public interest for the DPP to bring the case to court?

A prosecution will usually take place unless the prosecutor is sure that the public interest factors tending against prosecution outweigh those tending in favour.

Pre-Trial Disclosure (Unused Material)

Crown Counsel is required to disclose all material within the Crown's possession which might reasonably be considered capable of undermining the case of the prosecution against the accused, or of assisting the case for the accused.

Last Updated 2015-01-13