Charging the Accused

When a decision is made to prosecute or not, the DPP will decide the appropriate charge for the accused. It is the duty of the DPP to identify the correct charge having due regard to the evidence on the docket. In some instances it may be appropriate for the DPP to reduce a charge to a lesser one. In doing so, the DPP takes into account the strength of the case, the likelihood of adverse consequences of the criminal trial on witnesses, availability of witnesses, the need to avoid delay in disposing off a pending case or lack of evidence to support a more serious charge.

What happens after an accused has been charged with an offense?

When the DPP decides to prosecute, an indictment is prepared , and a committal certificate is also prepared where a case is to be heard by the High Court. A cause list is then generated and distributed to all Law Enforcement Agencies and the Subordinate Court, informing them of which accused persons must appear before court on specific dates. The Law Enforcement Agencies will notify the accused persons in custody, as well as those on bond.

What court can hear criminal cases?

The Subordinate and the High Court determine trials. Appeal cases are determined by the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court.