The Department of Public Prosecutions now has a code to govern the conduct of those who operate out of the office, for the first time since being established 53 years ago.
The Code for Public Prosecutors, 500 copies of which were printed by the United States Government, was officially handed over in a short ceremony this afternoon at Baobab Tower.
“The Code was designed to ensure structured decision-making so that there would be transparency in all the decisions we make and the public will also have the right to see what criteria we use when we make decisions to prosecute,” explained Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Charles Leacock.
US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Larry Palmer said the code was a collaborative effort between the island’s Department of Public Prosecutions and the section in the US Embassy that deals with International Narcotics and Law Enforcement.
He described this as another positive step in strengthening citizen security and developing law enforcement capacity in the region under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.
“The Prosecutors’ Code of Conduct establishes clear responsibilities and guidelines for charging and trying criminals in Barbados, something that’s healthy for any criminal justice system. Using this code will lead to more consistent, streamlined and speedier prosecutions as well as greater transparency, fairness and objectivity in the criminal justice system and
it will truly be a benefit to the people of Barbados,” the diplomat noted.
“It’s crucial for all citizens to understand their rights and the rights which are guaranteed to them under the law.”
Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson said the document would serve as a guide for revised codes being considered for other areas of the judiciary.
“We live in a time where the public wants to know why we do what we do, and so the courts are going to be no less amenable to public review,” he pointed out.