The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions says it welcomes the decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to refuse leave to Vynnette Frederick and others to appeal against the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chief Magistrate either to take over and discontinue or refuse to sign private criminal complaints which were made by Frederick and others.
Last Monday, Nov. 4, solicitors in London, England, representing the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chief Magistrate were informed that the application by Frederick and other for leave to appeal to the Privy Council was refused by the Law Lords.
“We have been notified by the court that the application for permission to appeal has been refused on the ground that the application did not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance,” the correspondence from Charles Russel LLP, solicitors in London stated.
Previously, both the High Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal had ruled against the appellants in relation to the matters being taken over and discontinued.
“As Director of Public Prosecutions, I believe that what can be termed the summary dismissal of the application for leave to appeal by their Lordships of the Privy Council is a reaffirmation that the original decision was correct and an implicit approval of the full code test detailed in the Code for Prosecutors,” DPP Colin Williams said in a statement.
“The Full Code Test requires all matters to be subject to first an evidential test and then a public interest before any prosecution is proceeded with. It is the test that was applied in taking over and discontinuing the private criminal complaints laid by Linton Lewis, Nigel Stephenson and Marva Chance,” he further said.
“The Full Code Test will continue to be applied to all matters and cases where the threshold is not met will not be allowed to proceed,” the DPP said in the statement.
In the wake of the December 2010 general elections Frederick and other members or supporters of the opposition New Democratic Party brought private criminal complaints against leading member of the ruling Unity Labour Party.
The DPP took over and discontinued most of the complaints, triggering legal battles that ended in the Privy Council decision.