Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - A Caribbean Prosecutors Association
could soon be a reality following a two-day seminar in Barbados of regional
Directors of Public Prosecutions and senior prosecutors.
This was the recommendation of the nearly thirty lawyers, who represented
thirteen Caribbean countries, which included Mrs Victoria Charles-Clarke, Acting
Director of Public Prosecution and Inspector Sylvia Desir, Police Prosecutor
from St Lucia. At their final session, they unanimously agreed that they would
set up the association, probably under the aegis of the International
The seminar was conducted by a team of facilitators headed by Anesta Weekes QC,
chair of the UK Caribbean Juristsí Group, and included Sir David Calvert-Smith,
immediate past DPP of England and Wales, Steve Gwilliam head of the anti
corruption division at the Metropolitan Police, Judge Michael Lawson QC, Robert
Drybrough-Smith, Crown Prosecution Service, and Deborah Mansfield Law Society.
Also addressing the seminar were Barbadosí Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons and
Justice Adrian Saunders, Acting Chief Justice of the Organisation of Eastern
Caribbean States. Justice Saunders was recently appointed as a Justice of the
Caribbean Court of Justice.
Matters discussed included the independence of the prosecutor, handling of
vulnerable witnesses, investigation and prosecution of corruption and sharing of
expertise within the region as a whole. There was also widespread agreement
that, despite differences in size, resources and procedures, there is still
common ground on judicial matters among the regional states, as well as with
England and Wales. Barbadosí Director of Public Prosecutions, Charles Leacock
brought the Caribbean perspective in his address on removing barriers to
prosecutions in the region.
A particularly valuable achievement was the invitation by the facilitators to
the prosecutors to be more pro-active in attacking corruption both in police
services and in government service.
The seminar was organised by the UK Caribbean Juristsí Group in collaboration
with the British High Commission in Barbados.