Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is an autonomous institution not subject to the direction or control of any person or authority. The exercise of ODPP’s authority and mandate should have regard to public interest, the interest of the administration of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.
The ODPP is part of the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) whose mission is to ensure that all people in Uganda live in a safe and just society. The JLOS is one of the sectors created by the Sector Wide Approach (SWAP), which was initiated by the Government in 1998 to guide planning and budgeting and foster more coherence and coordination among sectoral-related Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in their pursuit of national development.
Historical Development of ODPP
In the first post -independence Uganda Constitution of 1962, the office of the ODPP was created as an independent government body.
However, the 1967 amendment to the Uganda Constitution subjected the ODPP to the direction and control of the Attorney General in all cases. From this period, the ODPP functioned as a department within the Ministry of Justice.
This position continued until the promulgation of the 1995 Constitution. Under Article 120 of the 1995 Constitution, the autonomy of the ODPP was restored to ensure that in the performance of his/her duties, the ODPP is immune from any forms of interference.
The DPP is appointed by the President who acts on the advice of the Public Service Commission with approval of Parliament.
The recurrent and development funding of the DPP is charged on the Consolidated Fund and the Directorate has, since the adoption of the SWAP operated within the JLOS framework.
To date, the Directorate continues to increase its geographical coverage of the country by opening up new offices, and deploying requisite human resources.
However, its non-wage recurrent and development budgets have not been substantially increased to match the expanded needs of the institutions and the demand for ODPP’s services across the country.
The Institutional Alignment of ODPP
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions is headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions who is the Chief Executive. The Director is assisted by two Deputies; one in charge of Prosecutions and Quality Assurance while the other i s in charge of Management Support Services.
The Directorate is organised on the basis of five Departments which shoulder varied but complementary functions and responsibilities. The Departments are: Prosecutions; Inspection, Research and Quality Assurance; International Affairs and Field Operations; Finance and Administration; as well as Records, Information and Computer Services. All Departments are headed by Commissioners.
In addition, the ODPP is present in most districts through the offices of the Resident State Attorneys (RSAs) and Resident State Prosecutors (RSPs), who represent the Directorate, and their mandate is to peruse files, offer legal advice and prosecute cases in their areas of jurisdiction. The objective of these field offices is to take prosecutorial services closer to the people – the users.