Monday, April 12, 2021

What happens to a case when the state has interest in a fair hearing?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

When a state wants to satisfy national and international standards of justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions must take over to prevent any miscarriage of justice.

Section 85 of the Constitution deals with Control of prosecutions. It reads:

“(1) The Director of Public Prosecutions shall have power in any case in which he or she considers it desirable to do so, and subject to the approval of the Attorney-General-

(a) to initiate and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court for an offence against the law of The Gambia;

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(b) to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that have been instituted by any other person or authority:

(c) to discontinue at any stage before Judgement is delivered any criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or herself or any other person or authority:

Provided that the Director of Public Prosecutions shall not-

(i) take over and continue any private prosecution without the consent of the private prosecutor and the court; or

(ii) discontinue any private prosecution without the consent of the private prosecutor.

(2) For the purposes of this section, any appeal from a determination in any criminal proceedings before any court, or any case stated or question of law reserved for the purpose of such proceedings to any other court, shall be deemed to be part of those proceedings:

Provided that the power conferred on the Director of Public Prosecutions by subsection (1)(c) shall not be exercised in relation to any appeal by a person convicted in any criminal proceedings or any case stated at the instance of such a person.

(3) The powers conferred on the Director of Public Prosecutions under this section may be exercised by him or her in person or by persons under his or her direction and control.

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