New Director of Public Prosecutions Donna Babb-Agard. (GP)
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Barbados will soon have its first female Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Donna Babb-Agard QC, who had been acting in the position since the death of former DPP Charles Leacock in July, has been appointed.
The 50-year-old is accustomed to breaking barriers, having also been the first woman to serve as Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions.
“I am honoured by my appointment to the post of Director of Public Prosecutions. I think that it is just a testament to a lot of hard work and dedication and just my desire to contribute to the administration of criminal justice in my island,” Babb-Agard told the SATURDAY SUN in a telephone interview yesterday.
“When I started out as an attorney-at-law in 1991, I didn’t anticipate that I would be in the DPP’s Office. I did my first year in private practice with Leroy Inniss and it was only after that year that I started to have a serious interest in the other side, and therefore I joined the Department of Public Prosecutions in 1992.
“So from Crown Counsel, to Senior Crown Counsel to Principal Crown Counsel, to Deputy DPP, this has been the pinnacle of my career in my department and I am honoured to be conferred with that title. I am awed by the appointment,” she added.
Babb-Agard, who also served as a magistrate for a brief period, said she hoped her appointment would inspire other women and girls.
“We have a lot of young attorneys coming up and I’m glad that I can contribute to the criminal administration of justice in this way and I guess they have somebody to look up to.
“I think this is important because I am the first female, but it is also important
in general because hard work pays off. So I am very glad to be serving my country in this way,” Babb-Agard said.
“I will continue to carry out my job with the integrity that I know that I have, and justice, irrespective of colour, or status or political persuasion. That is how I intend to lead the Department of Public Prosecutions.”
When asked what her first order of business would be on taking up the top post, Babb-Agard said she would work towards unclogging the backlog of cases.
For this to happen, she said she would be pushing for a larger complement of judges, as well as for additional staff in the DPP’s Office.
“My first priority is just to make sure that we address the delays in the criminal justice system as best as we can. The public is always crying out that things move too slowly, so it would be great to have additional judges so that we can get some of the criminal backlog dealt with,” Babb-Agard pointed out.
“We have a good team in our office. We have seven attorneys in our office and I would like to see our office grow in terms of the number of prosecutors that we have so that we can best dispose of the many criminal matters that we have before the court.”
Babb-Agard becomes the third high-profile appointment by Government in as many days.
On Wednesday Justice Sandra Mason was chosen to be our next Governor General and one day later Cleviston Haynes was appointed Governor of the Central Bank. (RB)