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Office of DPP struggling with backlog of cases

- Kim Hollis QC says backlog came about due to lack of Magistrate's Court & High Court Judges
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Kim Hollis Q.C has moved to clear her name regarding what Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) called ‘excessive wait for prisoners on remand,’ even though the Office of the DPP has revealed that it has had a backlog of cases since 2017. Photo: Flickr
Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) had inquired what role does the Office of the DPP play in the long remand time of Prisoners in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) had inquired what role does the Office of the DPP play in the long remand time of Prisoners in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola VI - Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms Kim Hollis QC has moved to clear her name and office, regarding what Opposition Member and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) called ‘excessive wait for prisoners on remand,’ even though the Office of the DPP has revealed that it has had a backlog of cases since 2017.

According to a Report on the Deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) 2019, released on Friday, May 7, 2019, Hon Fraser had inquired what role does the Office of the DPP play in regards to the long wait times that prisoners on remand face, which can sometimes span in excess of a month. 

Court Judge to Blame - Ms Hollis

According to the DPP, since taking up office in 2016, she had worked consistently, to improve the forensic skills and performance of the Office along with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) in specialist areas, however, the length of court cases was outside of her purview.

The report notes, “The DPP stated that the Office of the DPP made representations to the court in relation to how cases should proceed, but either the Magistrate’s Court or the High Court Judge made decisions regarding the length of time cases took.”

The report also points out that as a constitutional prosecutor of the Virgin Islands, the DPP advised that the Office currently receives case files for advice and court proceedings from a number of law enforcement agencies including the Commissioner of Police, Customs, Immigration, as well as Financial Investigation Authority.

Office working to clear Backlog

On a related issue, the DPP also stressed that it was important that Members appreciate that her office was still struggling with a backlog of cases that was occasioned as a result of the Magistrate’s Courts not being able to sit following the 2017 hurricanes.

Ms Hollis noted that a gap also occurred when the territory did not have and was unable to have jury trials because there was no High Court Judge in the Virgin Islands. 

Further, in response to a question from Hon Fraser, the DPP stated that she has been in the Service for two and a half years and informed that her contract would expire in August 2020.

Ms Hollis was appointed DPP effective August 29, 2016, by former Governor Mr John S. Duncan, OBE, and amongst her role, she can institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any civil court in respect of any offence against any law in force in the Virgin Islands.

17 Responses to “Office of DPP struggling with backlog of cases”

  • legal team (10/06/2019, 10:27) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Justice delay is justice denied.
  • Jaigon (10/06/2019, 11:12) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
    That DPP is a total waste of tax payers money. Hope the government ain’t intended on renewing her contract.
    • son of Sam (11/06/2019, 08:05) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      @Jaigon-the police got a renewal another waste of time. All those old retired UK police that came to oversee our unsolved murders got their fifty thousand and back in their homeland; what is the outcome of those matters that department continue to hiding behind “the people not sharing information” of the 3 UK subjects in the territory the governor gets the B+
    • smdh (11/06/2019, 10:48) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
      Why the hell you don't do the job then. Tired of you people criticizing everybody and everything for just for the sake of criticism. If you can do better step forward. Otherwise stfu.
  • asking for a friend (10/06/2019, 11:39) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Who is that old women she hired who is always sick?
  • Outspoken (10/06/2019, 13:04) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    She made representation to the judge as to how cases should proceed! Woman go and learn to run your own office before wanting to run someone else own. You are an expert in shifting blame, and that’s what you do best. Your attorneys always come to court unprepared and never ready to proceed with their matters, so stop the blame game and tek your licks in good strides. You have not a clue what’s going on. Why to you have to bring in another QC from UK to do a simple case, costing the tax payers of this territory hundreds of thousands of dollars when you are a QC, yourself. Why try to get rid of young local attorneys while at the same time bringing in attorney from the UK who is over 70.
    • wize up (10/06/2019, 14:27) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
      @ outspoken: the truth be told any person or persons needing documentation to work and live in Britain Virgin Islands have to granted permission: let us hope the new government will allow our people an opportunity to fill substantial post: where the DPP hails from she is a simple office worker and will never ascertain the post of DPP in her country(no racism just a simple fact) the AG will never hold the post of AG were he hails from(no disrespect): when these folks goes on their vacation it’s the BVI People that acts in those substantive post but some how can not be given the opportunity to run those offices: few months ago the 3-police men brought before the high court on serious criminal related offenses practically walked free(no man said a word)
      • small island (15/06/2019, 15:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        You are severely misinformed. The DPP is a highly experienced legal professional in the uk and not a simple office worker. The locals 'I born here' argument that such posts should be filled by belongers is admirable , but sometimes it has to be recognised that the skills, knowledge and experience can not always be found locally.
        Your example of the 3 police men case is also incorrect. This case was simply a hung jury and I have no doubt that a retrial will be requested to see justice done, one way or other. Although you state your post is not racist, it is certainly divisive and unwelcome.
  • waste (10/06/2019, 14:32) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    What a waste!
  • Real Talk (10/06/2019, 17:32) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    These are the people BVIslanders should be struck on , not the little Caribbean brother and sisters working Construction and cleaning. At least Mr . Davies is asking for forgiveness, we should really forgive him. As the Good Lord forgives us all.
  • legal team (10/06/2019, 18:59) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    Back in the days when police officers use to prosecute in the magistrates court,you had a police officer on consignment to the office of the DPP and these police officers use to deal with all the summary matters and juvenile court and youth court.

    Cases were being disposed very quickly.

    But you know in the BVI we always believe that someone coming from UK will do a better job in the BVI.
    A former BVI police now retired who is an attorney-at-law would be a top class DPP and bring back all the retired police prosecutors to help with the backlogs.

    The office of the DPP cannot handle all these cases.Let the trained police prosecutors help out.

    You recalled 2000-2010 when there were some powerful prosecutors in the magistrates courts leading the role in prosecutions, defense lawyers had to come good.

    These imported prosecutors-dpp on a big salary mission..

    Bring back police prosecution how it use to be and get the cases expedited..
  • legal team (10/06/2019, 19:18) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    The legal team always research the BVI laws to educate the people on their constitutional rights in the constitution.
    DPP,did you read the following section in the VI Constitution?
    Section 16 of the VI Constitution sates:-

    [ (1) If any person is charged with a criminal offence, then, unless the charged is withdrawn the case shall be afforded a FAIR HEARING within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law.

    (2) Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall-
    (a) be presumed to be innocent until he or she is proved guilty according to law"]

    The VI Constitution declared that the hearing must take place within a "reasonable time" and in my view,if that time is not reasonable,the fundamental human rights of the person charged is being contravened under section 16.

    So in essence,for the DPP to blame backlog on every body and other institutions involved in dispensing justice,is baseless and just making excuses.

    DPP,you are of age,maybe 60 plus. Take your end of contract package and go enjoy a caribbean cruise or hike.You lived your full life in UK.Tell the Governor,you done with DPP work in BVI. You can't handle these simple BVI cases..

    Justice delayed is justice denied.Give the persons who are charged fair justice..
  • law abiding (11/06/2019, 07:06) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Might not be such an issue if folks hereabouts were a bit more respectful of the law of the land.
    • to law abiding (11/06/2019, 08:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      sinece in the time of Christ we had offences against others and the state. No government want to promote offences,but it will occur but in every society both victims and offender have rights.
      Our break down in justice comes from the persons who suppose to dispense it.
      More prosecutors
      More magistrates
      more court houses
      more prison space.
      We as a society,we are afraid to protect innocents from criminals,by putting systems in place to keep criminal offenders from society,but with true justice under the vi constitution.
  • Luvs (11/06/2019, 07:50) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    The best DPP we have had was Terrence Williams. No one since then has come close.
  • kim long (11/06/2019, 08:06) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think this woman is point blank prejudice. It's time for her to leave.

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