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The Prosecutions Division (刑事檢控科) of the Department of Justice, is the public prosecution office in Hong Kong led by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Prosecutions Division is the largest in the Department, with about 125 lawyers, known as 'Public Prosecutors', and about 115 lay prosecutors, known as 'Court Prosecutors'. The role of the Division is to prosecute trials and appeals on behalf of Hong Kong, to provide legal advice to law enforcement agencies upon their investigations, and generally to exercise on behalf of the Secretary for Justice the discretion of whether or not to bring criminal proceedings in Hong Kong. In addition, counsel in the Division provide advice and assistance to Government bureaux and departments in relation to any criminal law aspects of proposed legislation.
The lawyers of the Prosecution Division in the former British Hong Kong colonial administration were, before 1997, titled "Crown Counsel"(檢察官). After the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong, they were renamed "Government Counsel" (政府律師). In 2007, to highlight their constitutional independence, lawyers working in the Prosecutions Division adopted the alternative title of "Public Prosecutor" (檢控官).
The Division is headed by a Director, who is supported by five Deputy Directors of Public Prosecutions (DDPP) in charge of different sub-divisions:
One Deputy Director sub-division will also be designated as Chief of Staff; currently, this is with Sub-division II.
For more information on the position and for a more detailed list, please see Director of Public Prosecutions (Hong Kong)