The Office of Director of Public Prosecutions was established following the promulgation of the new Constitution, 2010. It was established under Article 157  of the Constitution of Kenya and operationalized by the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions Act No. 2 of 2013. The ODPP was formerly under the State Law Office but was delinked on the 1st of July, 2011, following the promulgation of the new Constitution.

The ODPP is mandated under Article 157 of the Constitution to:

Institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court other than the court martial in respect of any offence alleged to have been committed.

Take over and continue any criminal proceedings in any court other that the court martial, that  have been instituted or undertaken by any other person or authority.

Discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any criminal proceedings.

Direct the Inspector-General of the National Police Service to investigate any information or allegation of criminal conduct.

All crimes should be reported to the nearest police station for statements to be recorded and evidence to be collected before the matter can be prosecuted in court by officers from the ODPP.

You should ensure that:

You have reported the matter to the nearest police station and have been issued with an OB number.

You have recorded a statement.

You have supplied the police with all the necessary information in relation to the matter.

The police do investigations on reported crime and forward a duplicate of the police file to the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions. The Director of Public Prosecutions then peruses the police file and gives advice and further directions concerning a matter.

Any person who feels aggrieved by the prosecution process in a criminal matter.

Any person authorized by law, for instance an advocate on behalf of the  aggrieved person, an individual or an organization.

Any person who has been charged with a criminal offence and feels that the charges preferred against them are false or are incorrect.

Any person who wants judicial review, appeal or revision of a criminal matter.

Any person who feels that a criminal matter is being maliciously interfered with in a criminal court.

Any person who has reported a criminal offence to an investigative agency and has failed to take action.

Any member of the public who wishes to lodge a complaint ought to write a letter addressed to the DPP. The letter should contain the following information:

The OB number and/or court case number, the parties involved and the facts of the complaint.

Refer to the ODPP contact list and send the letter to the email provided or drop it at our Head Quarters or county office near you.

You will receive an acknowledgement that your complaint has been received by the ODPP.

Once a complaint has been received via post or electronic mail, an acknowledgement response is dispatched to the complainant. If the complaint is hand delivered, the complainant is given a duplicate of the letter stamped ‘received’ as acknowledgement.

No, lodging a complaint does not affect an ongoing case. If one lodges a complaint at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and has matters pending in court; he/she is still expected to attend court sessions unless otherwise advised.

A victim is involved throughout the trial process.

At the initial stage, they assist the police by providing all information relevant to the case.

During the trial, victims should be available to give evidence.

During sentencing, victims should attend court to give the victim impact statement by themselves or through the Prosecutor.

However, some cases may be prosecuted without the presence of the victim.

There are three ways in which one may approach the court in cases where you are dissatisfied with the decision of the court. You may opt to: Appeal This can be done by the accused person to a higher court than the court that has passed the judgment. If a complainant in a case is dissatisfied with the outcome, one may request the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions to appeal on his behalf in the matter. However, an appeal is only done in matters of law and not in matters of fact. For example, matters of evidence and witnesses are matters of fact, while matters of procedure and the requirements of the criminal procedure code are matters of law. Therefore, an appeal cannot be lodged because a certain witness has refused to testify or certain exhibits were not brought to court. An appeal can be lodged if the court fails to follow the law as written the statutes. This is done within 14 days of reading of the judgment in court. The result of an appeal in a criminal case is a declaratory judgment. This means that the even if the judgment favors the complainant in the criminal case; he cannot use it to claim compensation from the accused. Example: Mrs. Y beat and injured the complainant, Mr. Z, who broke his hand and went to hospital. Mrs. Y is charged with assault causing actual bodily harm but after the trial, she is acquitted. Mr. z approached the prosecution and an appeal is lodged. At the high court, the decision of the lower court is overturned and the court declares that indeed Mrs. Y was guilty of the offence and is sentenced. Mr. Z, though proved to have been injured, cannot take the judgment and claim compensation from Mrs. Y. he ca however use it in a civil case to claim compensation for his broken arm. ReviewThis is where one makes an application to the court seeking it to review its decision on a case. It can be done by either the prosecution or accused person. RevisionThis is done at the High Court, where there is an apparent error on the face of the record. For example, where there is an error in sentencing. Example: Mr. X has been charged with robbery with violence. The law prescribes that the sentence for this crime is life imprisonment. If the magistrate sentences the accused to one year imprisonment, there is an apparent error on the face of the record as the law is very clear on the sentence to be meted out for such a crime. Therefore, a revision will seek to correct the anomaly and give the correct sentence. The same is applicable when a greater sentence than recommended by law is given.