1. So, the Trials Unit handles only ‘high profile’ and ‘public interest’ trials and the Appeals Unit handles only appeals?
No. The officers from both Units help each other out. For example, officers from the Trials Division would assist by handling appeals in the Court of Appeal or Federal Court and vice versa. In addition, all officers are available to assist any Division within the Chambers if need be.
2. Does the Special Projects Unit handle cases?
No, their job is to trace missing or absent accused persons, persons who cannot be found to be served with Court notices. Their duties are not limited to this Division; they will assist any other Division in the Attorney General’s Chambers that require their assistance.
3. What does ‘particular public interest mean’?
All cases are of public interest, as far as the Attorney General Chambers is concerned. It is therefore certain cases of ‘particular’ public interest that will be handled by this Division.
4. When talking about trials and appeals, does it mean both civil and criminal or just criminal?
It means both civil and criminal trials and appeals, provided that the classification ‘high profile’ or of ‘particular public interest’ applies for trials.
5. Does the Appeals Unit handle all appeals to the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court?
Generally yes. However, there may be instances where the case emanated from an agency (such as MACC, Customs, Securities Commission, Bank Negara, etc) where a DPP from those agencies would handle the appeals in the Court of Appeal or Federal Court.
6. Who determines whether a case is ‘high profile’ or of ‘particular public interest’?
The Attorney General, as Public Prosecutor, makes the determination whether a case is ‘high profile’ or of ‘particular public interest’.
7. What is the difference between the Prosecution Division and the Trials Unit, since both do prosecution?
The Trials Unit only handles cases classified as ‘high profile’ or of ‘particular public interest’ at all levels be it in the Magistrate’s Court, Sessions Court or High Court.
8. What is the function of the Appellate & Trials Division?
The Appellate & Trials Division came into operation on 16 February 2009. There are 3 units within the Division; the Trials Unit, the Appeals Unit and the Special Projects Unit. The Trials Unit handles trials cases classified as ‘high profile’ or of ‘particular public interest’. The Appeals Unit handles almost all appeals in the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court. The Special Projects Unit is in charge of tracing and tracking down accused persons who cannot be otherwise served with notices to appear in Court.