The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is responsible for representing the State (Government) in all cases of a criminal nature. The DPP is the representative of Government in all criminal cases.
Prosecutors and State Attorneys are the representatives of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in the different courts around the country.
After investigations are completed by the Police, the Police is expected to send the file to the State Attorney who reads the same to confirm that all the evidence (information) required to take the accused person to court to be charged is on the file. Once the State Attorney is satisfied that the file has sufficient evidence to support the allegations that have been brought against the suspect, then he/ she sends the same to court for the court case hearing to start. This process is called sanctioning.
The Role of State Attorneys in criminal justice:
- They read investigation files presented by the Police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to decide whether or not the evidence is strong enough to take to Court.
- They send the files to court for hearing once the investigations are complete.
- They represent (speak on behalf of) the State (the victim/complainant) during the trial process. They lead evidence and question the suspect and his or her witnesses to confirm a case.
State Attorneys are found at or near the court in which they work. Every Court has a Prosecutor or State Attorney attached to it. Inquiries at the Court will reveal who and where they sit.