Saint Lucia’s legislators have backed Prime Minister Hon. Philip J Pierre’s effort to enact a law to appoint a Special Prosecutor.
In this progressive piece of legislation, an attorney-at-law appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission is empowered to serve as Special Prosecutor, and the Office holder is also empowered to receive complaints from incumbent public officials and former public officials and investigate credible reports of corrupt conduct.
The Special Prosecutor Act gives legal authority to the Special Prosecutor to institute both civil and criminal proceedings against any public official who may have engaged in acts of malfeasance and/or is suspected of misappropriating state resources and assets for personal gain.
Hon. Pierre expressed confidence in the Special Prosecutor Act and expects that it will restore public trust in the Government of Saint Lucia. He also demanded higher levels of accountability and integrity from the custodians of government property and the public officials entrusted with the responsibility of handling the taxpayer’s money and managing the country’s finances.
The Special Prosecutor will further augment the mandates of existing oversight agencies and official prosecutorial offices including the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Auditor General, the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner, the Financial Intelligence Authority and the Integrity Commission.
With the establishment of the Special Prosecutor Act, Saint Lucians will have access to and can discreetly and safely report corrupt conduct by any public official to an official office dedicated to receiving and investigating complaints.
Saint Lucia’s Special Prosecutor Act is modeled after existing legislation from numerous Commonwealth jurisdictions and was extensively ventilated and thoroughly scrutinized by all the relevant stakeholders before it was tabled and debated in the House of Assembly.