Prosecutors in Grenada are now being guided by a Code, which informs on the operation of the Criminal Justice System.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Christopher Nelson who briefed THE NEW TODAY Newspaper about the Code For Prosecutors said that prosecutorial functions were previously exercised without a written clear framework.
According to DPP Nelson, the code will be useful not only to prosecutors at the High Court, but will also guide Police Prosecutors.
The role of the prosecutor, the ethics of the prosecutor are clearly set out in the code.
The State Prosecutor indicated that the laying of a criminal charge is a serious matter for someone who will be the subject of that charge as his liberty is affected.
“It makes clear that prosecutors are Ministers of Justice, and their function really is to ensure that justice is done. Justice, at times, requires prosecuting the guilty as well as ensuring that the innocent is not prosecuted,” he said.
The code sets out the need for a decision-making process with regards to laying a charge, or the discontinuation of a charge.
DPP Nelson disclosed that the code also provides guidance to prosecutors in selecting the appropriate charge, and how special interest persons are dealt with.
He said that apart from providing guidance to the police, investigators and prosecutors, the code also serves to inform the general public as to how the various decisions at the various stages of the trial are made.
Another part of the code addresses prosecutors and their relationship with the media.
According to DPP Nelson, it guides the prosecutor about what they should be at liberty to relate to the media especially when commenting on the outcome of a case.
Assistance in formalising the prosecutorial process was given by Dan Suter, a Criminal Justice Advisor to the Eastern Caribbean.