Our Role in the Justice System

The DPP’s Office provides two (2) main types of services; Court Based Services and Non-court Based Services. Each of these entail but are not necessarily limited to the following: 

Court Based Services:

  1. Prosecutions:

Prosecution of matters in:

  1. All the Circuit Courts, the Gun Courts and Courts of Appeal;
  2. Most matters in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; and
  3. Some serious/complex matters in the Resident Magistrate's Courts on a case by case assignment basis as the need arises;

It is to be noted that all Clerks of Court who prosecute in the several Resident Magistrate's Courts in the Island of Jamaica do so under the general supervision of the Director of Public Prosecutions.


  1. Matters ancillary to Prosecutions:

Appearing in:

  1. Full Court matters on a case by case basis as the need arises in extradition, judicial review and constitutional matters;
  2. Chambers in respect of Bail applications – whether in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal;
  3. Chambers/Open Court for Forfeiture applications;
  4. Chambers to obtain investigative Court orders such as search warrants and production orders, whether in the Resident Magistrate’s Court or the Supreme Court.
  1. Other Court based services:
  1. Extradition hearings held in the Resident Magistrate’s Court; and
  2. Applications for Court orders/taking of evidence in mutual assistance matters.

Non-Court Based Services:

  1. Rulings and Advice:
  1. Files are submitted from several different departments of the Police force seeking rulings on evidential sufficiency and on whether or not criminal charges should be laid;
  2. Files are submitted from specialised investigative agencies e.g. The Financial Investigations Division;
  3. Files are submitted by various Government Ministries/Departments/Agencies containing complaints about alleged or suspected criminal conduct seeking guidance on whether investigations should be commenced or furthered;
  4. Police officers and investigators within specialised investigative agencies, without formally submitting a file often can call and/or meet with prosecutors for advice on ongoing investigations; and
  5. Members of the public call or come into the office seeking advice on their rights and on whether criminal offences have been committed against them.
  1. Work of the Units:

The Units address specialised areas of law e.g. Extradition, which is  dealt with in conjunction with the core function of the Office which is the conduct of general prosecutions in the Circuit Courts and prosecutions of complex matters in the RM Courts.

In addition to these general and specific prosecutions that Counsel undertake, Counsel are assigned in Units some of which entail administrative as well as specialised legal responsibilities.

  1. Technical Advice:

The Office is required to give technical advice to Ministers and Departments in relation to the interpretation of criminal law and quasi-criminal law matters. This also includes advising on existing, new and draft legislation as well as giving advice on policy matters related to the administration of the Criminal Justice system.

  1. Lectures and Training:

The Office is a resource for lectures and training to the police, other investigative bodies and other entities that require specialised knowledge on criminal law, practice and procedure.

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