Victims and witnesses are key stakeholders in the fight against crime. The ODPP has clear policies that govern its interactions with victims and witnesses.
The ODPP is also committed to ensuring that protections available to victims and witnesses within the Criminal Procedure Act, 2009 are pursued in Court.
The State Counsels are encouraged to assess special needs of victims and witnesses and to professionally support them with issues that they may have when they deal with our lawyers and while giving evidence in court.
There are clear policies that govern our lawyer’s interactions with victims and witnesses during Witness Conferencing sessions. These policies are articulated in documents like our Prosecution Code and the Guidelines on Prosecuting Child Sexual Abuse Cases & Other Crimes Against Children 2019.
The mandate of the ODPP is set out in section 117 of the Constitution. Section 117 empowers the DPP to:
- Institute and conduct criminal proceedings;
- Take over criminal proceedings that have been instituted by another person or authority (except proceedings instituted by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption);
- Discontinue, at any stage before judgment is delivered, criminal proceedings instituted or conducted by the Director of Public Prosecutions or another person or authority (except proceedings instituted or conducted by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption), and
- Intervene in proceedings that raise a question of public interest that may affect the conduct of criminal proceedings or criminal investigations. The powers of the DPP may be exercised by the Director personally, or through other persons acting on the Director’s instructions.