March 4, 2011
Amendment to CPC now law

The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Code 2011 is now law.

Act Number 2 of 2011 came into law on March 1, 2011 when it was published in the Official Gazette.{{more}} The Act, which was signed by the Governor General on Wednesday, February 23, was passed in the House of Assembly on Friday, January 28, 2011.

The Act amends Section 69 of the Criminal Procedure Code by adding the following subsections: (2) Before any person institutes a private prosecution he shall obtain a fiat from the Director of Public Prosecutions. (3) Unless the Director of Public Prosecutinos grants a fiat referred to in subsection (2), no private prosecution shall be instituted. (4) The Director of Public Prosecutionsmay request from the person who intends to institute a private prosecution or his counsel any or all evidence, statements or other material which the Director of Public Prosecutions, in his own absolute discretion, considers necessary in the circumstances. (5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to curtail the powers of the Director of Public Prosecutions under any law including the power to give directions. (6) A fiat referred to in this section is required from the Director of Public Prosecutions whether or not the commission of the alleged offence is before or after the commencement of this Act.”.

The passage of this Act into law has come in for much criticism from some persons including members of the opposition New Democratic Party who say the amendment takes away the right of individuals to go directly to the court if they wish to file a private criminal complaint.

The Government however maintains that the amendment does not take away any rights, rather it brings the DPP into picture sooner rather than later.