Briefing Paper

Prosecution in Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia

“Prosecutors are primarily responsible for preparing charges and arraigning accused persons before competent courts or tribunals for trial. The primary duty of the prosecutor ‘is to seek justice as well as to convict those who are guilty’. In an ideal sense, he or she ‘focuses the power of the state on those who disobey the law by
charging a person with crime, releasing the individual from prosecution, or eventually bringing the accused to trial’.Prosecution services in Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia face similar problems, which include inadequate professional autonomy; lack of capacity owing to inadequate personnel and funding; and delays in prosecution, partly on account of the poor crime investigation capacity by the police.Effective solutions to these problems are therefore required to establish efficient, transparent and trustworthy prosecution services in these countries.”