DPP makes bid for more attorneys
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn has revealed that she has written to the Ministry of Finance requesting emergency approval to hire five attorneys.
The request comes as statistics compiled by the DPP’s office show that the backlog of cases in the Home Circuit Court has worsened.
At the end of the Easter term, which lasted for three months and ended last month, a total of 733 cases were down for trial.
This is a 50 per cent increase over the 488 cases that were on the court list at the end of the Easter term last year.
Speaking to The Gleaner-Power106 News Centre this afternoon, Llewellyn said earlier this year the finance ministry gave approval for her office to hire 17 additional employees, effective April 1.
She says this would include 10 attorneys seven support staff.
However, Llewellyn says she is still waiting for this to materialise.
Among the reasons for the backlog of cases pointed out by Miss Llewellyn is what she describes as the tsunami of cases coming from the Parish Court courtesy of the Committal Proceedings Act.
The legislation was introduced last year to help speed up the disposal of cases by abolishing preliminary enquiries.
She says hiring new attorneys would help her office deal with the influx of new cases that are expected at the start of the Michaelmas term next month.