Legal advisor to police being sought

The Ministry of Home Affairs has advertised for a Police Legal Adviser who would be based at CID Headquarters, Eve Leary.

The advertisement in Wednesday’s edition of the Guyana Chronicle comes amid concerns about the quality of police investigations and the frequent resort of the force to the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice on what seem to be straightforward cases.

Duties of the full-time legal advisor would be as follows:

-to advise the Guyana Police Force on all matters with respect to the investigation of all crimes, including the taking of caution statements, the gathering of evidence and supervising the preparation of cases for prosecution, especially the `high profile’ cases.

-to work in close collaboration with the DPP’s Chambers

-to support the Guyana Police Force in the training of criminal investigators and prosecutors

-to issue advice on matters that do not require the specific intervention of the DPP’s Chambers

-to be prepared to appear in court on behalf of the Guyana Police Force

-to be knowledgeable of the Laws of Guyana and be versed in research on local and international laws and law reports

-to make recommendations to the Guyana Police Force on any legislative changes to review by the Ministry of Home Affairs

-to make recommendations/decisions to the Guyana Police Force in relation to cases that should be subjected to appeal.

Applicants must have at least five years’ experience in criminal law practice and procedure. Applications and CVs have to be submitted to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs on or before June 20, 2014. The advertisement has appeared only in the Guyana Chronicle.

Last year, in a comment to Stabroek News on concerns raised by the DPP about the state of police investigations, Opposition Leader David Granger had said that the opposition had been calling for attention to be paid to the quality of training of the police officers, including the police prosecutors who have to face trained lawyers in the courts.

“It is quite clear that there is a serious competence problem in the training of our court prosecutors,” he said, adding that the force should have its own legal advisor. “…It is difficult to have people who are paid at that level and are trained at that level performing competently in complex court cases at the magistrate’s court level,” he added.

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