Criminal Prosecution Service Bill gets unanimous Senate support

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The Senate unanimously passed the Criminal Prosecution Service Bill on Monday which will pave the way for all prosecutions to be undertaken by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The bill seeks to establish the Office of the Criminal Prosecutions Service (CPS) under the direction of the DPP and repeals Section 31 of the Police Act which gives the force the power to prosecute matters in the Magistrate’s Court.
“Despite the provisions of any law in force in Antigua and Barbuda … no public officer shall, after the commencement of this Act, institute any criminal proceedings or undertake the prosecution of any criminal case in any court, unless he is authorised so to do, in writing by the DPP,” the bill reads.
United Progressive Party (UPP) leader Harold Lovell was the only opposition senator to speak on the bill following the invitation to debate by Senator Lennox Weston, leader of government business in the Upper House.
According to Lovell, the bill could only add to the professionalism of the prosecution service and would bring Antigua and Barbuda in line with several other countries. He noted that the move was initiated under the UPP administration and that they had no qualms in supporting the bill since they believed it was necessary.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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