“The launch of the National Prosecution Unit and the Introduction of our nation’s Prosecution Code are important manifestations of our commitment to ensure that throughout the length and breadth of this country, on matters judicial, justice will not only be done, but it will, indeed, also be seen to have been done,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said that the Prosecution Unit and the Prosecution Code grow out of a two important values – a commitment to transparency, and an understanding of the importance of standards.
“In any country, those who must on a daily basis make decisions pertaining to matters prosecutorial bear important and far-reaching responsibilities, because the decision to prosecute or to not prosecute, and the way in which one actually prosecutes, if that is the path chosen, all have a tremendous impact on the feel and fabric of the society in which one lives. Indeed, the oft-repeated maxim ‘If you want peace, work for justice’ is a succinct reminder of this. This is why it is essential that those who function within the prosecutorial realm understand the standards that they are expected to meet,”said Prime Minister to the audience that included Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Patrice Nisbett; Resident Judge, His Lordship, Mr. Justice Errol Thomas, Senior Magistrate, Mrs. Josephine Mallalieu-Webbe; Deputy at the British High Commission, Mr. Phillip Culligan, Commissioner of Police, Mr. C. G. Walwyn, police prosecutors and officers in the Department of Legal Affairs.
Dr. Douglas said that the public needs to have a better understanding of the prosecutorial dimension of the judicial realm.
He pointed to the Message of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Pauline Hendrickson because it encapsulates, most effectively, the essence of the prosecutorial function.
“High qualities are expected of the modern prosecutor. Good judgment. Complete integrity. An innate sense of fair play. An instinctive sense of what is right and what is wrong. Fearlessness is also essential for prosecution decisions are often controversial, and the prosecutor must have the strength of character to resist criticism from whatever quarter, no matter how strident or painful. The judgment of the prosecutor must never be swayed by political, media or public pressure.
The profession of prosecutor is an honourable one. It is not, however, for the faint-hearted,”quoted Prime Minister Douglas.
He said the introduction of the Prosecution Unit and the Prosecution Code represent the type of positive, constructive, forward movement that all countries need.
Dr. Douglas said St. Kitts and Nevis is a respected member of the world community of democratic nations with a stable democracy and an independent judiciary and the introduction of the National Prosecutors Office and the Code for Prosecutors is another step, in the history of the Federation that enhances the credibility of democracy, and the judiciary.