Newly appointed Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders paid a courtesy call on Attorney General Anand Ramlogan SC on Monday 15th September, 2014 at the Ministry of the Attorney General. She was accompanied by British High Commissioner Mr Arthur Snell, Canadian High Commissioner Mr Gerard Latulippe, Director of the Crown Prosecution Service- International Division Mr Patrick Stevens and Criminal Justice Advisor to Trinidad and Tobago Ms Moira Mac Daid.
A wide range of issues were discussed pertaining to improvements to the criminal justice system including the early guilty plea scheme presently in operation in the United Kingdom, the abolition of preliminary inquiries, plea bargaining and the new DNA and fingerprinting laws.
AG Ramlogan expressed a great interest in the United Kingdom model of Victims’ Commissioner which aims to promote the interests of victims and witnesses. There is a clear need for the criminal justice system to be more sensitive to the plight of victims of crime and the AG is of the view that Trinidad and Tobago could learn from this unique office.
The Victims’ Commissioner encourages good practice and fairness in the treatment of victims and witnesses and oversees the Code of Practice for Victims (CPV) which sets out the services which victims can expect to receive. The Attorney General has been advocating the use of victim impact assessment statements as part of the criminal process before a defendant is sentenced and signalled his attention to have the voice of the victim be part of the new plea bargaining law which he proposes to bring to the Parliament shortly.