A prosecutor is a legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system. The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case in a criminal trial against an individual accused of breaking the law. Typically, the prosecutor represents the government in the case brought against the accused person.

Prosecutor Robert Jackson at Nuremberg Trials
Chief Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson (on the pulpit) at the Nuremberg Trials
Occupation type
Activity sectors
Law, Law Enforcement
CompetenciesAdvocacy skills, analytical mind, sense of justice
Education required
Typically required to be authorised to practice law in the jurisdiction, law degree, in some cases a traineeship.
Fields of
Government legal service
Related jobs
Barrister, solicitor, advocate, judge, magistrate

Prosecutor as a legal professional

Prosecutors are typically lawyers who possess a law degree, and are recognized as legal professionals by the court in which they intend to represent society (that is, they have been admitted to the bar).

They usually only become involved in a criminal case once a suspect has been identified and charges need to be filed. They are typically employed by an office of the government, with safeguards in place to ensure such an office can successfully pursue the prosecution of government officials. Often, multiple offices exist in a single country, especially in those countries with federal governments where sovereignty has been bifurcated or devolved in some way.

Since prosecutors are backed by the power of the state, they are usually subject to special professional responsibility rules in addition to those binding all lawyers. For example, in the United States, Rule 3.8 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct requires prosecutors to "make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense." Not all U.S. states adopt the model rules; however, U.S. Supreme Court cases and other appellate cases have ruled that such disclosure is required. Typical sources of ethical requirements imposed on prosecutors come from appellate court opinions, state or federal court rules, and state or federal statutes (codified laws).

Directors of Public Prosecutions

In Australia, Canada, England and Wales, Hong Kong, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Kenya, and South Africa, the head of the prosecuting authority is typically known as the Director of Public Prosecutions, and is appointed, not elected. A DPP may be subject to varying degrees of control by the Attorney General, usually by a formal written directive which must be published.

In Australia, the Offices of the Director of Public Prosecutions institute prosecutions for indictable offences on behalf of the Crown.[1] At least in the case of very serious matters, the DPP will be asked by the police, during the course of the investigation, to advise them on sufficiency of evidence, and may well be asked, if he or she thinks it proper, to prepare an application to the relevant court for search, listening device or telecommunications interception warrants.

More recent constitutions, such as South Africa's, tend to guarantee the independence and impartiality of the DPP.

Common law jurisdictions


Prosecutors in Australia come in a few distinct species. Prosecutors of minor criminal cases in lower courts, are usually Police Sergeants with a traineeship in prosecution and advocacy lasting appoximately 1 year in duration, although they may hold law degrees. Crown Prosecutors are always lawyers, and typically barristers, and they represent the State or Commonwealth in serious criminal cases in higher courts, County Court and above. Aside from Police prosecutors and Crown prosecutors, government agencies usually have the authority to appoint non-lawyers to prosecute on their behalf, such as the RSPCA Inspectors.[2]


In Canada, public prosecutors in most provinces are called Crown Attorney or Crown Counsel. They are generally appointed by the provincial Attorney-General.


Though Scots law is a mixed system, its civil law jurisdiction indicates its civil law heritage. Here, all prosecutions are carried out by Procurators Fiscal and Advocates Depute on behalf of the Lord Advocate, and, in theory, they can direct investigations by the police. In very serious cases, a Procurator Fiscal, Advocate Depute or even the Lord Advocate, may take charge of a police investigation. It is at the discretion of the Procurator Fiscal, Advocate Depute, or Lord Advocate to take a prosecution to court, and to decide on whether or not to prosecute it under solemn procedure or summary procedure. Other remedies are open to a prosecutor in Scotland, including fiscal fines and non-court based interventions, such as rehabilitation and social work. All prosecutions are handled within the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. Procurators fiscal will usually refer cases involving minors to Children's Hearings, which are not courts of law, but a panel of lay members empowered to act in the interests of the child.

United States

In the United States, the director of a prosecution office may be known by any of several names depending on the jurisdiction, most commonly District Attorney. In Commonwealth states, like Virginia, they are known as Commonwealth's Attorney.

The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case against an individual or a corporation suspected of breaking the law, initiating and directing further criminal investigations, guiding and recommending the sentencing of offenders, and are the only attorneys allowed to participate in grand jury proceedings.[3]

The titles of prosecutors in state courts vary from state to state and level of government (i.e. city, county, and state) and include the terms District Attorney in New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Oklahoma[4]; City Attorney in California cities (typically prosecute only minor and misdemeanor offenses) Commonwealth's Attorney in Kentucky and Virginia; County Attorney in Nebraska[5], Minnesota, and Arizona[6]; County Prosecutor in New Jersey,[7] Ohio, and Indiana[8]; District Attorney General in Tennessee; Prosecuting Attorney in Arkansas,[9] Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Washington, and West Virginia (as well as in Missouri where cities additionally use "City Attorneys" to prosecute on their behalf); State's Attorney in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, North Dakota, and Vermont; State Prosecutor; Attorney General in Delaware and Rhode Island; and Solicitor in South Carolina.[10] Prosecutors are most often chosen through local elections, and typically hire other attorneys as deputies or assistants to conduct most of the actual work of the office. United States Attorneys are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They represent the federal government in federal court in both civil and criminal cases. Private attorneys general can bring criminal cases on behalf of private parties in some states.

Prosecutors are required by state and federal laws to follow certain rules. For example, the government must disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense;[11] must disclose matters affecting the credibility of prosecution witnesses, such as an agreement to dismiss the witness's own charges in exchange for her testimony;[12] must not destroy potentially useful evidence in bad faith;[13] and must not use false testimony to secure a conviction.[14] Failure to follow these rules may result in a finding of prosecutorial misconduct, although a 2013 investigation found that actual discipline for prosecutorial misconduct was lacking.[15]

Prosecutors are also tasked with seeking justice in their prosecutions. "The United States Attorney," explained the U.S. Supreme Court,

is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all, and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the two-fold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor—indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.[16]

Prosecutors in some jurisdictions have the discretion to not pursue criminal charges, even when there is probable cause, if they determine that there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction.[17] Prosecutors may dismiss charges in this situation by seeking a voluntary dismissal or nolle prosequi.

In Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of the Commonwealth. In California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, and New York, criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of the People. In the remaining states, criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of the State.

Civil law jurisdictions

Prosecutors are typically civil servants who possess a university degree in law and additional training in the administration of justice. In some countries, such as France and Italy, they belong to the same corps of civil servants as the judges.


In Belgium, the Senior Crown prosecutor (Procureur du Roi/Procureur des Konings in trial courts and Procureur Général/Procureur-Generaal in appellate courts) is supported by subordinate Crown prosecutors (substituts/substituten). They open preliminary investigations and can hold a suspect in custody for up to 24 hours. When necessary, a Crown prosecutor will request an examining judge (juge d'instruction/onderzoeksrechter) be appointed to lead a judicial inquest. With a judge investigating, Crown prosecutors do not conduct the interrogatories, but simply lay out the scope of the crimes which the judge and law enforcement forces investigate (la saisine). Like defense counsel, Crown prosecutors can request or suggest further investigation be carried out. The Crown prosecutor is in charge of policy decisions and may prioritize cases and procedures as need be.

During a criminal trial, prosecutors must introduce and explain the case to the trier of fact, i.e., judges or jury. They generally suggest a reasonable sentence which the court is not obligated to follow; the court may decide on a tougher or softer sentence.

Crown prosecutors also have a number of administrative duties. They may advise the court during civil actions.

Under Belgian law, judges and prosecutors are judicial officers with equal rank and pay.

The Minister of Justice can order a criminal investigation but cannot prevent one (droit d'injonction positive/positief injunctierecht).


In Brazil, the public prosecutors form a body of autonomous civil servants—the Public Ministry (Ministério Público)—working both at the federal and state level.

Federal prosecutors (procuradores da República) are divided in three ranks, according to the jurisdiction of the courts before which they officiate. Procuradores da República officiate before single judges and lower courts, procuradores regionais da República before federal appellate courts, and subprocuradores gerais da República before the superior federal courts. The Procurador Geral da República heads the federal body, and tries cases before the Supremo Tribunal Federal.

At the state level, the career is usually divided in promotores de Justiça who practice before the lower courts and procuradores de Justiça who practice before the state courts of appeals. There are also military prosecutors whose career, although linked to the federal prosecutors, is divided in a manner similar to state prosecutors.

In Brazil the prosecutors' main job is to promote justice, as such they have the duty of not only trying criminal cases, but, if during the trial, they become convinced of a defendant's innocence, requesting the judge to acquit him. The prosecutor's office has always the last word on whether criminal offenses will or will not be charged, with the exception of those rare cases in which Brazilian law allows for private prosecution. In such cases, the prosecutor will officiate as custos legis, being responsible to ensure that justice is indeed carried out.

Although empowered by law to do so, prosecutors conduct criminal investigations only in major cases, usually involving police or public officials' wrongdoings. Also, they are in charge of external control over police activity and requesting the initiation of a police investigation.[18]

The power of individual prosecutors to hold criminal investigations is still controversial and, although massively supported by judges, prosecutors and the general population, it is being contested before the Supremo Tribunal Federal.

According to a 2012 law, the chief of police (delegado de polícia), as the police authority, is responsible for conducting the criminal investigation in Brazil by means of a police investigation (inquérito policial) or other procedure provided by law that has the purpose of ascertaining the circumstances, materiality, and authorship of criminal offenses.[19] Similar provisions are found in the Code of Criminal Procedure[20] and in article 144 of the federal constitution.[21]

Beside their criminal duties, Brazilian prosecutors are among those authorized by the Brazilian constitution to bring action against private individuals, commercial enterprises, and the federal, state and municipal governments, in the defense of minorities, the environment, consumers, and the civil society in general.


In France, the Office of the Prosecutor includes a Chief Prosecutor (Procureur de la République in trial courts and procureur général in appellate courts or the Supreme Court) and his deputies and assistants (avocats généraux and substituts). The Chief Prosecutor generally initiates preliminary investigations and, if necessary, asks that an examining judge (juge d'instruction) be assigned to lead a formal judicial investigation. When an investigation is led by a judge, the prosecutor plays a supervisory role, defining the scope of the crimes being examined by the judge and law enforcement forces. Like defense counsel, the chief prosecutor may petition or move for further investigation. During criminal proceedings, prosecutors are responsible for presenting the case at trial to either the bench or the jury. Prosecutors generally suggest advisory sentencing guidelines, but the sentence remains at the court's discretion to decide, to increase or reduce as it sees fit. In addition, prosecutors have several administrative duties.

Prosecutors are considered magistrates under French law, as in most civil law countries. While the defense and the plaintiff are both represented by common lawyers, who sit (on chairs) on the courtroom floor, the prosecutor sits on a platform as the judge does, although he doesn't participate in deliberation. Judges and prosecutors are trained at the same school, and regard one other as colleagues.


In Germany, the Staatsanwalt ("state attorney") is a life-tenured public official in the senior judicial service belonging to the same corps as judges. The Staatsanwalt heads pre-trial criminal investigations, decides whether to press a charge or drop it, and represents the government in criminal courts. He not only has the "professional responsibility" not to withhold exculpatory information, but is also required by law to actively determine such circumstances and to make them available to the defendant or his/her defense attorney. If he is not convinced of the defendant's guilt, the state attorney is required to plead against or in favor of the defendant according to the prosecutor's own assessment.[22] Prosecution is compulsory if the prosecutor has sufficient evidence to convict.[23]


In Italy, a Prosecutor's Office is composed of a Chief Prosecutor (procuratore capo) assisted by deputies (procuratori aggiunti) and assistants (sostituti procuratori). Prosecutors in Italy are judicial officers just like judges and are ceremonially referred to as Pubblico Ministero ("Public Ministry" or P.M.).

Italian Prosecutors officiate as custos legis, being responsible to ensure that justice is indeed carried out. They are obligated under the Constitution to initiate preliminary investigations once they are informed or take personal notice of a criminal act—notitia criminis—or receive a bill of complaint. They can direct investigations or conduct them through orders and directives given to (judicial) police detectives, who can make their own parallel investigations in coordination with the Prosecutor. If enough evidence has been gathered in order to proceed, the prosecution is compulsory and it must move from preliminary investigations to initiate trial proceedings.[24] At trial, the prosecuting attorney has to handle the prosecution but is prohibited from withholding exculpatory evidence, for they have to promote justice, which means that they have the duty of not only trying criminal cases, but, to request the judge to acquit him if, during the trial, they become convinced of a defendant's innocence, or agree that there is no evidence, beyond any reasonable doubt, of his guiltiness.

In appellate courts, the Office of the Prosecutor is called Procura Generale and the Chief Prosecutor the Procuratore Generale (PG). The Procuratore Generale presso la Corte di Cassazione is the Chief General Prosecutor before the Corte di Cassazione, the Supreme Court of Italy.

Prosecutors are allowed during their career to act in the other's stead, but a recent ruling by the Italian Constitutional Court stated that prosecutors, who wish to become judges, must relocate to another region and are prohibited to sit or hear trials that they themselves initiated.


In Japan, public prosecutors kensatsu-kan (検察官) are professional officials who have considerable powers of investigation, prosecution, superintendence of criminal execution and so on. Prosecutors can direct police for investigation purposes, and sometimes investigate directly. Only prosecutors can prosecute criminals in principle, and prosecutors can decide whether to prosecute or not. High-ranking officials of the Ministry of Justice are largely prosecutors.


The highest ranking prosecutor office of the Prokuratura in Poland is the Prokurator Generalny (General Prosecutor)—chief of the Prokuratura Generalna (General Prosecutor Office). The GP has 5 deputies. Structure of Public Prosecutor in Poland is 4-level: General Prosecutor Office --> Appellation Prosecutor Offices (11) --> District Prosecutor Offices (46) --> Regional Prosecutor Offices (326).

South Korea

Prosecutors are the public officials who are members of the Ministry of Justice.

Prosecutors can conduct crime investigations directly or indirectly. They are responsible for the entire process of investigations and court prosecutions. Since Korean modern law was designed after continental system, the role of Korean prosecutors is similar or identical to that of European equivalents in commanding investigations, determining indictable cases and prosecuting process. Korean prosecutors take pride in successful prosecutions of former presidents(1995) and sons of the incumbent presidents(1997 and 2002). Besides, they have made important contributions to convicting many corrupt high-ranking officials and business leaders.[25] A prosecutor has the power to prohibit a defendant or an accused individual from departing the Republic of Korea via an "international hold".[26]


In Sweden, public prosecutors are lawyers who work out of the Swedish Office of Public Prosecutions (Åklagarmyndigheten) and direct police investigations of serious crimes. For all criminal cases, public prosecutors decide arrests and charges on behalf of the public and are the only public officers who can make such decisions. Plaintiffs also have the option of hiring their own special prosecutor (enskilt åtal). The exception is cases concerning crimes against the freedom of the press for which the Attorney General acts as the prosecuting attorney. In court, the prosecutor is not necessarily in an adversarial relationship to the defendant, but is under an obligation to investigate and present information which may incriminate or exhonerate the defendant. The prosecutor is not a judicial officer, nor do they participate in the private deliberations of the court.

Public prosecutors are the only public officers who can decide to appeal cases to appellate courts (hovrätter). Otherwise, appeals are initiated by defense counsel, the plaintiff, their representatives, and other parties to the case (målsäganden). When a case has been decided by an appellate court, the right to appeal to the Supreme Court passes from the case's prosecutor to the Director of Public Prosecutions (Riksåklagaren).

Socialist law jurisdictions

A Public Procurator is an office used in Socialist judicial systems which, in some ways, corresponds to that of a public prosecutor in other legal systems, but with more far-reaching responsibilities, such as handling investigations otherwise performed by branches of the police. Conversely, the policing systems in socialist countries, such as the Militsiya of the Soviet Union, were not aimed at fulfilling the same roles as police forces in Democratic countries.

People's Republic of China

A Public Procurator is a position in the People's Republic of China, analogous to both detective and public prosecutor. Legally, they are bound by Public Procurators' Law of the People's Republic of China. According to Article 6, the functions and duties of public procurators are as follows:

  1. Supervise the enforcement of laws according to law.
  2. Public prosecution on behalf of the State.
  3. Investigate criminal cases directly accepted by the People's Procuratorates as provided by law.
  4. Other functions and duties as provided by law.


The Supreme People's Procuracy is the highest office of public procurators in Vietnam.

Institutional independence

In many countries, the prosecutor's administration is directly subordinate to the executive branch (e.g., the US Attorney General is a member of the President's cabinet). In some other countries, such as Italy or Brazil, the prosecutors are judicial civil servants, so they have the same liberties and independence which that judges traditionally enjoy.

In other countries, a form of private prosecution is available, meaning persons or private entities can directly petition the courts to hold trial against someone they feel is guilty of a crime, should the prosecutor refuse to indict.

Private prosecution

In the early history of England, victims of a crime and their family had the right to hire a private attorney to prosecute criminal charges against the person alleged to have injured the victim.[27] In the 18th century, prosecution of almost all criminal offences in England was private, usually by the victim.[28] In Colonial America, because of Dutch (and possibly French) practice and the expansion of the office of attorney general, public officials came to dominate the prosecution of crimes. However, privately funded prosecutors constituted a significant element of the state criminal justice system throughout the nineteenth century.[29] The use of a private prosecutor was incorporated into the common law of Virginia, but is no longer permitted there.[27] Private prosecutors were also used in North Carolina as late as 1975.[30] Private prosecution has been used in Nigeria, but the practice is being phased out.[31]

Bruce L. Benson's To Serve and Protect lauds the role of private prosecutors, often employed by prosecution associations, in serving the needs of crime victims in England. Radical libertarian theory holds that public prosecutors should not exist, but that crimes should instead be treated as civil torts. Murray Rothbard writes, "In a libertarian world, there would be no crimes against an ill-defined 'society,' and therefore no such person as a 'district attorney' who decides on a charge and then presses those charges against an alleged criminal."[32]

See also


  1. ^ See Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983 (Cth).
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2017-11-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Standards on Prosecutorial Investigations
  4. ^ See: Category:District attorneys.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Maricopa County Attorney's Office • Phoenix, Arizona". Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  7. ^ "President's Message". Prosecutor’s Office Management Association ("POMA") of New Jersey. November 5, 2010. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  8. ^ "St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office". Archived from the original on 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  9. ^ See, e.g., Ark. Const. amdt. 21, § 1 (offenses may be prosecuted by an "information filed by the Prosecuting Attorney"), and amdt. 80, § 20 ("A Prosecuting Attorney shall be elected by the qualified electors of each judicial circuit."); Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-21-101 et seq. (provisions concerning "prosecuting attorneys").
  10. ^ "South Carolina Bench Book for Summary Court Judges–General Section". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  11. ^ Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).
  12. ^ Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972).
  13. ^ Arizona v. Youngblood, 488 U.S. 51 (1988).
  14. ^ Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959).
  15. ^ Who Polices Prosecutors Who Abuse Their Authority? Usually Nobody Archived 2017-06-30 at the Wayback Machine. ProPublica.
  16. ^ Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935).
  17. ^ See State v. Gomez, 127 P.3d 873, 877 (Ariz. 2006) ("Indictments can be dismissed for various reasons, including a prosecutor's determination that the person charged did not in fact commit the crime or—as this case illustrates—that there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction."). .
  18. ^ Article 129, preamble paragraphs VII and VIII of the "Constitution of Brazil". Archived from the original on 2016-05-05. Retrieved 2016-05-07.("São funções institucionais do Ministério Público: . . . (VII) exercer o controle externo da atividade policial, na forma da lei complementar mencionada no artigo anterior [Art. 128°]; (VIII) requisitar diligências investigatórias e a instauração de inquérito policial, indicados os fundamentos jurídicos de suas manifestações processuais; . . . .").
  19. ^ "Law 12.830/2013". Archived from the original on 2016-11-14. Retrieved 2016-11-08..
  20. ^ Article 4 of the "Brazilian Code of Criminal Procedure". Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-08-07. ("A polícia judiciária será exercida pelas autoridades policiais no território de suas respectivas circunscrições e terá por fim a apuração das infrações penais e da sua autoria.").
  21. ^ Article 144, Section IV of the Constitution of Brazil (1988) ("Às polícias civis, dirigidas por delegados de polícia de carreira, incumbem, ressalvada a competência da União, as funções de polícia judiciária e a apuração de infrações penais, exceto as militares.").
  22. ^ RiStBV, No. 138/139).
  23. ^ Herrmann, Joachim (1973–1974), The Rule of Compulsory Prosecution and the Scope of Prosecutorial Discretion in Germany, 41, U. Chi. L. Rev., p. 468, archived from the original on 2011-07-11
  24. ^ Carlo Guarnieri (January 1997), "The Judiciary in the Italian Political Crisis", West European Politics, 20 (1): 157–175, doi:10.1080/01402389708425179
  25. ^ "spo". spo. Archived from the original on 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  26. ^ "Fleeing Korea while under Police/Prosecutor Investigation: International Hold in Korea". Archived from the original on 2016-07-07. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
  27. ^ a b Nichols, Matthew S. (2000–2001), No One Can Serve Two Masters: Arguments against Private Prosecutors, 13, Cap. Def. J., archived from the original on 2012-04-01
  28. ^ Friedman, David D. (1995), Making Sense of English Law Enforcement in the Eighteenth Century, 2, U. Chi. L. Sch. Roundtable, p. 475, archived from the original on 2012-04-01
  29. ^ Robert M. Ireland (Jan 1995). "Privately Funded Prosecution of Crime in the Nineteenth-Century United States". The American Journal of Legal History. Temple University. 39 (1): 43–58. doi:10.2307/845749. JSTOR 845749.
  30. ^ Sidman, Andrew (1975–1976), Outmoded Concept of Private Prosecution, The, 25, Am. U. L. Rev., p. 754
  31. ^ Isabella Okagbue (Spring 1990). "Private Prosecution in Nigeria: Recent Developments and Some Proposals". Journal of African Law. Cambridge University Press on behalf of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 34 (1): 53–66. doi:10.1017/s0021855300008196. JSTOR 745600..
  32. ^ Rothbard, Murray, "Punishment and Proportionality", The Ethics of Liberty, archived from the original on 2014-11-17


  • Gad Barzilai. The Attorney General and the State Prosecutor: Is Institutional Separation Warranted? (Jerusalem: The Israel Democracy Institute, 2010). [1]
  • Hugo Nigro Mazzilli. Regime Juridico do Ministério Público, 5ª edição, São Paulo: Saraiva, 2001.
  • Raoul Muhm, Gian Carlo Caselli (Hrsg.), Die Rolle des Staatsanwaltes Erfahrungen in Europa–Il ruolo del Pubblico Ministero Esperienze in Europa–Le role du Magistrat du Parquet Expériences en Europe–The role of the Public Prosecutor Experiences in Europe, Vecchiarelli Editore Manziana (Roma) 2005 ISBN 88-8247-156-X
  • Raoul Muhm, "The role of the Public Prosecutor in Germany" in The Irish Jurist, Volume XXXVIII, New Series 2003, The Law Faculty, University College, Dublin [2]
  • Erick Maurel, Paroles de procureur (Paris: Gallimard, 2008), ISBN 978-2-07-011977-6

External links

  • indexes almost 2,900 prosecutor web sites throughout the USA and other countries.
  • Free trial advocacy tips for prosecutors and trial
  • Burnley Law Firm Summaries of Recent U.S. Criminal Law Decisions
  • CCPE Consultative Council of European Prosecutors
  • L'Archivio "diritto – history"
  • IAP International Association of Prosecutors

Adaalat (Hindi for Court) is an Indian television courtroom drama anthology series about a defense attorney, K.D. Pathak, portrayed by Ronit Roy. The first season for the show premiered on Sony on 20 November 2010 and ran for five years, ending on 11 July 2015. The series is produced by Contiloe Entertainment and stars Ronit Roy in the eponymous role. The show aired 431 episodes in its first season.

Adaalat returned for a second season on SET on 4 June 2016 and ended on 4 September 2016 .

The show aired 26 episodes in its second season.

Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville

Antoine Quentin Fouquier de Tinville (10 June 1746 – 7 May 1795) was a French prosecutor during the Revolution and Reign of Terror periods.

Attorney general

In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general or attorney-general (sometimes abbreviated AG) is the main legal advisor to the government. The plural is attorneys general or attorney generals.In some jurisdictions, attorneys general also have executive responsibility for law enforcement, prosecutions or even responsibility for legal affairs generally. In practice, the extent to which the attorney general personally provides legal advice to the government varies between jurisdictions, and even between individual office-holders within the same jurisdiction, often depending on the level and nature of the office-holder's prior legal experience.

Where the attorney general has ministerial responsibility for legal affairs in general (as is the case, for example, with the United States Attorney General or the Attorney-General for Australia, and the respective attorneys general of the states in each country), the ministerial portfolio is largely equivalent to that of a Minister of Justice in some other countries.

The term was originally used to refer to any person who holds a general power of attorney to represent a principal in all matters. In the common law tradition, anyone who represents the state, especially in criminal prosecutions, is such an attorney. Although a government may designate some official as the permanent attorney general, anyone who came to represent the state in the same way could, in the past, be referred to as such, even if only for a particular case. Today, however, in most jurisdictions, the term is largely reserved as a title of the permanently appointed attorney general of the state, sovereign or other member of the royal family.

Civil law jurisdictions have similar offices, which may be variously called "public prosecutor general", "procurators", "advocates general", "public attorneys", and other titles. Many of these offices also use "attorney general" or "attorney-general" as the English translation of the title, although because of different historical provenance, the nature of such offices is usually different from that of attorneys-general in common law jurisdictions.

Chen Xu (prosecutor)

Chen Xu (simplified Chinese: 陈旭; traditional Chinese: 陳旭; pinyin: Chén Xù; born November 1952) is a former Chinese prosector who served as the Prosecutor General of Shanghai People's Procuratorate from 2008 to 2016. He was investigated in March 2017 by the Communist Party's anti-graft agency, suspected of corruption.

David Joyce (politician)

David Patrick Joyce (born March 17, 1957) is an American politician and former prosecutor who has been the United States Representative for Ohio's 14th congressional district since 2013. An attorney, Joyce was previously the Prosecutor of Geauga County, Ohio. He is a member of the Republican Party.

District attorney

In the United States, a district attorney (DA) is the chief prosecutor for a local government area, typically a county. The exact name of the office varies by state.

Except in the smallest counties, a district attorney leads a staff of prosecutors, who are most commonly known as deputy district attorneys (DDAs). The Deputy who serves as the supervisor of the office is often called the Assistant District Attorney. The majority of prosecutions will be delegated to DDAs, with the district attorney prosecuting the most important cases and having overall responsibility for their agency and its work. Depending upon the system in place, DAs may be appointed by the chief executive of the jurisdiction or elected by local voters.

The district attorney, and assistant district attorneys under the district attorney’s authority, are the attorneys representing a government body as prosecutors who are responsible for presenting cases against individuals and groups who are suspected of breaking the law, initiating and directing further criminal investigations, guiding and recommending the sentencing of offenders, and are the only attorneys allowed to participate in grand jury proceedings.

Hunter Biden

Robert Hunter Biden (born February 4, 1970) is an American lawyer and lobbyist who is the second son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. He co-founded Rosemont Seneca Partners, an international consulting firm.

Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a major Ukrainian natural gas producer, from 2014 to 2019. In 2019, President Donald Trump falsely claimed that Joe Biden had sought the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to protect Hunter Biden from investigation. However, Hunter Biden was not under investigation, and there is no evidence of wrongdoing done by him in Ukraine. Trump's alleged attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens by withholding foreign aid triggered an impeachment inquiry in September 2019.

International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague, Netherlands. The ICC has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. It is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore exercise its jurisdiction only when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer situations to the Court.

The ICC began functioning on 1 July 2002, the date that the Rome Statute entered into force. The Rome Statute is a multilateral treaty that serves as the ICC's foundational and governing document. States which become party to the Rome Statute become member states of the ICC. As of March 2019, there are 122 ICC member states. 42 states are non-party, non-signatory states.

The ICC has four principal organs: the Presidency, the Judicial Divisions, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the Registry. The President is the most senior judge chosen by his or her peers in the Judicial Division, which hears cases before the Court. The Office of the Prosecutor is headed by the Prosecutor who investigates crimes and initiates proceedings before the Judicial Division. The Registry is headed by the Registrar and is charged with managing all the administrative functions of the ICC, including the headquarters, detention unit, and public defense office.

The Office of the Prosecutor has opened ten official investigations and is also conducting an additional eleven preliminary examinations. Thus far, 44 individuals have been indicted in the ICC, including Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, and DR Congo vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba.

The ICC has faced a number of criticisms from states and civil society, including objections about its jurisdiction, accusations of bias, questioning of the fairness of its case-selection and trial procedures, and doubts about its effectiveness.

Natalia Poklonskaya

Natalia Vladimirovna Poklonskaya (Russian: Ната́лья Влади́мировна Покло́нская, IPA: [nɐˈtalʲjə pɐkˈlonskəjə], romanized: Natál'ja Vladímirovna Poklónskaja; Ukrainian: Наталія Володимирівна Поклонська, romanized: Natalija Volodymyrivna Poklons'ka; born 18 March 1980) is a Russian politician, serving as Deputy of the State Duma of Russia from 5 October 2016.She was the Prosecutor of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea from 11 to 17 March 2014. From 2 May 2014 to 6 October 2016, she served as Prosecutor of the Republic of Crimea and in 2015 as State Counselor of Justice 3rd Class.

Poklonskaya was a Ukrainian prosecutor from 2002 to February 2014, working in various Prosecutor's Offices or as an assistant district attorney. During the 2014 Crimean crisis, she resigned from Ukrainian service and was appointed Prosecutor General of Crimea on 11 March 2014; a press conference given by Poklonskaya on that day resulted in her becoming an Internet phenomenon. After Crimea was annexed by Russia during the 2014 Crimean crisis, Poklonskaya's appointment was confirmed by Russian authorities on 25 March, around the same time Ukrainian judicial authorities declared her a wanted criminal.Poklonskaya resigned as Prosecutor General on 6 October 2016 due to her election to the State Duma during the 2016 Russian legislative election.

Plea bargain

The plea bargain (also plea agreement or plea deal) is any agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty or nolo contendere to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor. This may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to a less serious charge, or to one of the several charges, in return for the dismissal of other charges; or it may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to the original criminal charge in return for a more lenient sentence.A plea bargain allows both parties to avoid a lengthy criminal trial and may allow criminal defendants to avoid the risk of conviction at trial on a more serious charge. For example, in the U.S. legal system, a criminal defendant charged with a felony theft charge, the conviction of which would require imprisonment in state prison, may be offered the opportunity to plead guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge, which may not carry a custodial sentence.

In cases such as an automobile collision when there is a potential for civil liability against the defendant, the defendant may agree to plead no contest or "guilty with a civil reservation", which essentially is a guilty plea without admitting civil liability.

Plea bargaining can present a dilemma to defense attorneys, in that they must choose between vigorously seeking a good deal for their present client, or maintaining a good relationship with the prosecutor for the sake of helping future clients. However, defense attorneys are required by the ethics of the bar to defend the present client's interests over the interests of others. Violation of this rule may result in disciplinary sanctions being imposed against the defense attorney by the appropriate state's bar association.In charge bargaining, defendants plead guilty to a less serious crime than the original charge. In count bargaining, they plead guilty to a subset of multiple original charges. In sentence bargaining, they plead guilty agreeing in advance what sentence will be given; however, this sentence can still be denied by the judge. In fact bargaining, defendants plead guilty but the prosecutor agrees to stipulate (i.e., to affirm or concede) certain facts that will affect how the defendant is punished under the sentencing guidelines.

Prosecutor General (Albania)

In Albania, the Prosecutor General (Albanian: Prokurori i Përgjithshëm) is the highest judicial authority exercising the criminal prosecution of entities or individuals and representing the accusation in court on behalf of the state. He or she is also responsible for carrying out a series of other duties assigned by law to the prosecution.The General Prosecutor proposes to the President of the Republic the candidates for prosecutor after considering the opinion of the Council of Prosecution. He or she is entitled to issue orders for the prosecutor’s suspension from exercise of their duty when the starting of a criminal proceeding against them has been decided, until the end of the proceeding, or when a serious disciplinary violation is uncovered.

In the exercise of their competencies, prosecutors operate in accordance with the Constitution and laws.

They exert their competencies by respecting the principles of fair, equal and legal proceedings and safeguarding human rights, interests and legal freedoms.

The Prosecution is organized and working under the direction of the General Prosecutor as a centralized structure, composed of the Office of the General Prosecutor, the Council of the Prosecution and the prosecutors of the judiciary system.

Prosecutor General of Russia

The Prosecutor General of Russia (also Attorney General of Russia, Russian: Генеральный Прокурор Российской Федерации) heads the system of official prosecution in courts known and heads the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation (Генеральная прокуратура Российской Федерации). The Prosecutor General remains the most powerful component of the Russian judicial system.

Prosecutor General of Ukraine

The Prosecutor General of Ukraine (also Attorney General of Ukraine, Ukrainian: Генеральний прокурор України) heads the system of official prosecution in courts known as the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Генеральна прокуратура України). The term of authority of the Prosecutor is six years. She or he is appointed and dismissed by the president with parliamentary consent. Parliament can force the Prosecutor General to resign after a vote of no-confidence.The current Prosecutor General is since 29 August 2019 Ruslan RiaboshapkaThere are seven more additional deputies to the Prosecutor General.

Side Effects (Bass book)

Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial is a nonfiction book by investigative journalist Alison Bass, which tells the true story of a court case and the personal drama that surrounded the making of a bestselling drug. It chronicles the lives of two women – a prosecutor and a whistleblower – who exposed deception in the research and marketing of Paxil, an antidepressant prescribed to millions of children and adults. The book shows the connections between pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (the maker of Paxil), a top Ivy League research institution, and the government agency designed to protect the public – conflicted relationships that may have compromised the health and safety of vulnerable children.

Side Effects also explores the controversy over drugs used to treat clinical depression, with a special focus on Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. The book provides evidence of medical researchers "skewing results on behalf of pharmaceutical companies" that pay for the studies; pharmaceutical companies "marketing medicines without adequately disclosing adverse impacts;" and government agencies "unable or unwilling to adequately protect consumers," who sometimes die as a result.

Special Court for Sierra Leone

The Special Court for Sierra Leone, or the "Special Court" (SCSL), also called the Sierra Leone Tribunal, was a judicial body set up by the government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations to "prosecute persons who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law" committed in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996 and during the Sierra Leone Civil War. The court's working language was English. The court listed offices in Freetown, The Hague, and New York City.On 26 April 2012, former Liberian President Charles Taylor became the first African head of state to be convicted for his part in war crimes.

Special prosecutor

In the United States, a special counsel (formerly called special prosecutor or independent counsel) is a lawyer appointed to investigate, and potentially prosecute, a particular case of suspected wrongdoing for which a conflict of interest exists for the usual prosecuting authority. Other jurisdictions have similar systems. For example, the investigation of an allegation against a sitting president or attorney general might be handled by a special prosecutor rather than by an ordinary prosecutor who would otherwise be in the position of investigating their own superior. Investigations into other persons connected to the government but not in a position of direct authority over the prosecutor, such as cabinet secretaries or election campaigns, have also been handled by special prosecutors.

While the most prominent special prosecutors have been those appointed since the 1870s to investigate presidents and those connected to them, the term can also be used to refer to any prosecutor appointed to avoid a conflict of interest or appearance thereof. The concept originates in state law: "state courts have traditionally appointed special prosecutors when the regular government attorney was disqualified from a case, whether for incapacitation or interest." Because district attorneys' offices work closely with police, some activists argue that cases of police misconduct at the state and local level should be handled by special prosecutors.

State's attorney

A state's attorney or state attorney is a lawyer representing the interests of the state in a legal proceeding, typically as a prosecutor. It is an official title in the United States, sometimes appointed but most commonly an elected official serving as the chief law enforcement officer of his or her county, circuit, or district. The offices of district attorney, commonwealth's attorney, county attorney, county prosecutor, or prosecuting attorney are more frequently the case in the United States although South Carolina uses the term solicitor. The state of Florida and other countries also use or used the term state's attorney, like the Boer republics of the Orange Free State (1854–1902) and the South African Republic (1852–1902) in South Africa. In these cases the position corresponded to that of the attorney general in the British judicial system. It is used within the Attorney-General's Department of Sri Lanka.

Thomas E. Dewey

Thomas Edmund Dewey (March 24, 1902 – March 16, 1971) was an American lawyer, prosecutor, and politician. He served as the 47th governor of New York from 1943 to 1954. In 1944, he was the Republican Party's nominee for president. He lost the 1944 election to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the closest of Roosevelt's four presidential elections. He was again the Republican presidential nominee in 1948, but lost to President Harry S. Truman in one of the greatest upsets in presidential election history. Dewey played a large role in winning the Republican presidential nomination for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, and helped Eisenhower win the presidential election that year. He also played a large part in the choice of Richard M. Nixon as the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956.As a New York City prosecutor and District Attorney in the 1930s and early 1940s, Dewey was relentless in his effort to curb the power of the American Mafia and of organized crime in general. Most famously, he successfully prosecuted Mafioso kingpin Charles "Lucky" Luciano on charges of forced prostitution in 1936. Luciano was given a thirty-year prison sentence. He also prosecuted and convicted Waxey Gordon, another prominent New York City gangster and bootlegger, on charges of tax evasion. Dewey almost succeeded in apprehending Jewish mobster Dutch Schultz as well, but not before Schultz was murdered in 1935 in a hit ordered by The Commission itself.

Dewey led the moderate faction of the Republican Party, in which he fought conservative Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft. Dewey was an advocate for the professional and business community of the Northeastern United States, which would later be called the Eastern Establishment. This group consisted of internationalists who were in favor of the United Nations and the Cold War fight against communism and the Soviet Union, and it supported most of the New Deal social-welfare reforms enacted during the administration of Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Dewey's successor as leader of the moderate Republicans was Nelson Rockefeller, who became governor of New York in 1959. The New York State Thruway is named in Dewey's honor.

United States Attorney

United States attorneys (also known as chief federal prosecutors and, historically, as United States district attorneys) represent the United States federal government in United States district courts and United States courts of appeals.

The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case against an individual suspected of breaking the law, initiating and directing further criminal investigations, guiding and recommending the sentencing of offenders, and are the only attorneys allowed to participate in grand jury proceedings.There are 93 U.S. Attorney offices located throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. One U.S. Attorney is assigned to each of the judicial districts, with the exception of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands where a single U.S. Attorney serves both districts. Each U.S. Attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer within his or her particular jurisdiction, acting under the guidance of the United States Attorneys' Manual. They supervise district offices with as many as 350 Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) and as many as 350 support personnel.An Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA), or federal prosecutor, is a public official who represents the federal government on behalf of the U.S. Attorney (USA) in criminal prosecutions, and in certain civil cases as either the plaintiff or the defendant. In carrying out their duties as prosecutors, AUSAs have the authority to investigate persons, issue subpoenas, file formal criminal charges, plea bargain with defendants, and grant immunity to witnesses and accused criminals.U.S. Attorneys and their offices are part of the Department of Justice. U.S. Attorneys receive oversight, supervision, and administrative support services through the Justice Department's Executive Office for United States Attorneys. Selected U.S. Attorneys participate in the Attorney General's Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys.

Typical branches
Atypical branches
By country
See also


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