Published: 10 May 2021
Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether existing protocols or practices mandate that law enforcement agencies consult the Attorney-General's Chambers for advice in every case before finalising decisions on whether to charge suspects in court or not and what charges to prefer.
1. The discretion whether to charge offenders in court, and what charges to prefer, lies with the Public Prosecutor.
2. In general, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) under the Ministry of Home Affairs will make their recommendations to the Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) after investigations are completed. The DPPs will then review the evidence and the circumstances of the case, before deciding on the appropriate course of action.
3. The Public Prosecutor, however, has authorised LEAs to prosecute some offences without the need to consult the DPP. These authorisations are subject to criteria imposed by the Public Prosecutor, and the offences involved are generally straightforward and less serious in nature, such as drink-driving and driving without licence. Some LEAs are also authorised to administer stern warnings in lieu of prosecution for pre-agreed categories of cases.