Council report submitted to Minister of Justice
The Law Enforcement Council has made a total of ten recommendations regarding the public prosecutor’s office, the national detectives service and St. Maarten’s police department. The recommendations are listed in a report submitted by the council’s chairman, Franklyn Richards to minister of justice of St. Maarten, Dennis Richardson.
With regards to the three entities, the Council recommends looking into the specific capabilities within both the country of St. Maarten and in the Kingdom, to enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement by the prosecutor’s office, the National Detectives and the Police Force of St. Maarten.
A total of four recommendations pertain to the National Detectives, for which the Council advises the minister to formulate a general political and administrative policy, to implement measures entailing that the National Detectives capacity is in accordance with the staffing plan, to implement measures for its own process monitoring system as well as to implement the improvement plan of the National Detectives.
Five recommendations regard the public prosecutor’s office, where the Council advises the minister to encourage the prosecutor’s office to treat criminal cases within a reasonable period of time, and as soon as possible, take a decision to prosecute. Additional recommendations are to maintain the course taken towards a more proactive communication practice and to formulate a clear communication policy.
The council recommends the development of a human resource policy in cooperation with the prosecutor’s office in the Netherlands that suits specifically for St. Maarten and focuses on the benefits of efficiency, continuity and expertise. The last recommendations are to modernize the process monitoring system (PRIEM) and pursue meeting the applicable conditions for the granting of outgoing requests for assistance in law enforcement within the Kingdom.
The recommendations were reached at as a result of recent investigations conducted by the Law Enforcement Council. The minister of justice of St. Maarten, in September of 2014 had requested the Council, to conduct an inspection into how the Public Prosecutor’s office in Sint Maarten, generally prosecutes cases and how content is given to the related discretionary principle of expediency.
The minister was prompted to have this investigation conducted after a judgment of the Court of First Instance on electoral fraud, also known as the Masbangu-case, in which the words “semblance of class justice” were used as a motivation to declare the prosecutor inadmissible. In May 2015, the Court of Appeal had already overturned the judgment. For clarity sake it’s worth mentioning that the Council in its report has taken aforementioned judgment into consideration.
A comprehensive version of the report is available online at www.raadrechtshandhaving.com