Attorney General reveals launch of aggressive recruitment for more prosecutors due to stretched team

Attorney General reveals launch of aggressive recruitment for more prosecutors due to stretched team

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Attorney General Ryan Pinder said on Monday that his office is once again launching an aggressive recruitment campaign locally and within the region to hire additional prosecutors, acknowledging that the prosecution team is stretched thin and under pressure.

During his remarks on the Bail Act Amendment Bill 2024, Pinder stated that he expects to begin the solicitation process by week’s end.

“(We) will circulate it not only within The Bahamas but throughout the entire region. The need for more prosecutors is undeniable; our prosecution team is strained and under enormous pressure,” Pinder said.

The Attorney General highlighted several additional benefits that have been implemented at the Office of the Attorney General to attract attorneys.

“We have increased compensation, introduced health insurance coverage, and are considering a hazard allowance for prosecutors. For young attorneys, no law firm in the country offers the level of experience provided by the OAG. For more seasoned attorneys, the professional stimulation at the OAG is unparalleled. I encourage you to consider us as the next step in advancing your career.”

Pinder disclosed that initiatives are underway to expedite case hearings, aiming for quicker, more efficient, and effective processes, which will also impact bail decisions significantly.

“If cases are heard more promptly, the justification for bail diminishes. Some of these initiatives involve fundamental reforms, while others are administrative, all geared towards ensuring courts can handle cases expeditiously,” he remarked.

Pinder again spoke of plans for a new Supreme Court complex to be built on the site of 50 and 52 Shirley Street and the Rodney Bain building, spanning from Parliament Street to Charlotte Street, featuring no fewer than nineteen new court facilities. Once demolished, completion is reportedly targeted within two years.

“The new Supreme Court complex will also accommodate specialty courts. In the first half of 2024, we aim to inaugurate the family and juvenile court complex on Bernard Road, which will house Supreme Court and Magistrate Court facilities along with central government agencies such as the police and social services. Once this transition is complete, additional courtroom facilities will become available, allowing for the appointment of additional Supreme Court justices, two of which will be allocated for criminal matters,” Pinder added.

He also noted that the Office of the Attorney General, inclusive of the Department of Public Prosecutions, is in the process of launching its electronic Case Management System and e-filing portal, developed by the same team that designed the court e-filing platform, ensuring compatibility across systems.

“We will roll out our case management system for civil litigation on March 1, followed shortly by a customized case management system and e-filing platform for the Department of Public Prosecutions. This system will enable multiple agencies crucial for criminal prosecution, such as the police and other relevant agencies, to electronically provide evidence, documents, and other pertinent items directly into the case management system for a particular matter. This streamlined process will significantly reduce the time required for managing prosecution files compared to the manual filing process currently in place,” said Pinder.