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Judicial System

Prosecution of criminal cases was the responsibility of the Office of the Attorney General. The attorney general was appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister. Public prosecutors were attorneys appointed by the Public Service Commission to advise police on the law in criminal matters and to present the government's case against the defendant. Criminal cases in which the maximum sentence did not exceed three years were referred to magistrates' courts, while more serious offenses were assigned to the district courts. There also was one Juvenile Court, which handled cases that involved children under the age of sixteen. Criminal cases appealed to the Supreme Court went through a three-stage process. Judges known as judicial commissioners eliminated cases that did not meet legal criteria for appeal. The High Court of the Supreme Court heard all cases appealed from a district court in which the convicted criminal received the death sentence and also selected cases approved by the judicial commissioners. The High Court also had unlimited original jurisdiction for cases deemed important to the state. The Court of Criminal Appeal was the final arbiter in criminal cases where the interpretation of law was subject to question.

Data as of December 1989