The Attorney General's Office

The structure and organization of the Office of the Attorney General of Curaçao, St. Maarten and of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, is defined in Article 2 up to and including 6 of the Kingdom Act Public Prosecutor. According to Article 2 of the Kingdom Act Public Prosecutor, the Public Prosecution in each of the countries is composed of the Office of the Attorney General and the Public Prosecutor's Office (also: Public Prosecutor's Office in first instance). But there is only one joint Attorney General established in Curaçao (Article 3 paragraph 1). He holds office in each country.

The Attorney General

At the head of the entire Public Prosecution organization is the Attorney-General. The Kingdom Act Public Prosecutor grants the Attorney General a number of tasks and responsibilities. As said, he leads three national organizations from three different countries . To this end, he must perform regular consultations in all countries. Moreover, he is accountable to three different ministers of (safety) and Justice and advises them, solicited and unsolicited, in matters that affect the functions of the Public Prosecution.

Pursuant to Article 6 paragraph 3 of the Kingdom Act Public Prosecutor, the Attorney General supervises a proper investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses (the 'primary process') and Article 5 paragraph 4 gives the Attorney General herewith the competence to give general and special instructions, regarding the exercising of the functions and powers of the Public Prosecutor.

He supervises the Public Prosecutors not only concerning the operational tasks, (investigation and prosecution), but also in terms of management. In addition the Attorney General is responsible for the so-called 'second instance', the appeal in criminal cases and, finally, even for the coordination of responses to cross-border crime.

The Office of the Attorney General

The Attorney-General is assisted in his work by a department "Strategy and Policy" and an Operations Office.

The Department of Strategy and Policy supports the Attorney General in shaping the strategic policy, the development of the policy, the implementation and evaluation of these, and the 'planning & control'-cycle.

The Operations Office is, on the hand, responsible for the internal operations of the Office of the Attorney General. On the other hand, the department serves the common management function for the Public Prosecutor which has been mandated to the Attorney General (Article 28 Kingdom Act Public Prosecutor). Human resources, finance and IT issues are centrally controlled by the Operations Office.

Both departments are primarily located within the Office of the Attorney General in Curaçao, but their work focuses on all three Public Prosecutor's Offices.

An important part of the Office of the Attorney General that is not explicitly shown in the layout above, is formed by the Office of the Prosecutor in Second Instance, also called the Office of the Advocate General. The Advocate General provides functional direction to the employees within the office. Furthermore, the Advocate General's tasks include dealing with criminal cases on appeal, the implementation of judicial decisions of the Joint Court of Justice, the giving of advice on legal duties and the promotion of legal quality in the first and second instance. Within the Office of the Attorney General two Advocates General are employed. One Advocate General is stationed in Curaçao, the other in St. Maarten. Even though the first one mentioned will, in principle, mainly carry out work for Curaçao and the BES, and the latter mainly for St. Maarten, they can support each other and fill in for each other.