Strasbourg, 28 January 2016
CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN PROSECUTORS (CCPE)
Questionnaire for the preparation of the Opinion No. 11 of the CCPE:
“Quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors,
including as regards the fight against organised crime and terrorism”
1. Does the prosecution service in your country work strategically with ensuring quality in the work of prosecutors? If yes, how is that done?
For the last 5 years, the Danish Prosecution service has initiated a number of strategic activities aiming at defining and enhancing the quality of prosecutorial activities.
Some examples can be mentioned:
- Each prosecution office has established a separate unit, headed by a chief prosecutor, to be responsible for local quality. These units are in charge of local projects to enhance quality – also in the work of the Police as well as responsible for implementing national initiatives regarding quality
- Each level of the prosecution service is subject to inspection and review from the higher level. Such reviews may often encompass elements on how quality with relation to certain types of cases is ensured. Also, the higher level of the prosecution issues guidelines and instructions on how certain types of cases should be dealt with.
- A survey on the quality of prosecutors’ performance in court has been carried out amongst the local courts
- A project defining how to perform well in court has been developed and implemented
- Guidelines are issued by the DPP on how to deal with cases in specific areas of crime
- A project on how to improve written communications with citizens has been developed and implemented
- A national data base on court practice, procedural questions and best practices has been developed. All prosecutors have access to ipads so that they can access this data base while in court
- At the office of the DPP, a specialised unit is tasked – in cooperation with local practitioners - with sharing relevant information and knowledge
- Both local and national procedures have been established so that prosecutors can share knowledge
- Attention on the need to prioritize quality has been ensured at management level
2. Which criteria are considered crucial in your country for securing the highest quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors: their independence, impartiality, human and material resources, conditions of work etc.? Please briefly describe.
Relevant sharing of information and specific initiatives in identified areas of crime and procedures are seen as most relevant in order to enhance quality. Also reliable access to it-based information is seen as important.
3. Are there any indicators, formal or informal, used in your country in order to assess the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors, for example, the number of cases considered, the length of the consideration, the complexity of the cases considered etc.? Please briefly describe.
In 2016, a new project is implemented in all local prosecution office where indicators for quality will be developed. The purpose of the project is to define “quality”, to establish the relevant level of quality in specific areas of cases and to measure the level of quality in order to ensure a proper and uniform quality level throughout the country.
The project will work with defining the relevant level of quality in order to ensure the proper balance between quality and efficiency.
4. Is there a formal or informal procedure for evaluation of the work of prosecutors, how often it is evaluated, by whom, and with what consequences? Do the prosecutors have the right to raise formal or informal objections to the results of the evaluation and to its consequences?
Prosecutors are evaluated 4 times a year. However, focus of the evaluation is pro-active rather than retro-active. All younger prosecutors have been appointed a mentor who follows the daily work and who will also at times accompany the prosecutor in court to supervise the performance there.
5. As regards the fight against organised crime and terrorism, are there any specific conditions, criteria, procedures or indicators created for prosecutors in your country in order to:
- facilitate their work?
- evaluate their work?
6. Are there in your country recent legislative reforms to fight more effectively against organised crime and terrorism and how are these reforms seen in relation to the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors? Please briefly describe.
7. Do you consider that current international conventions, as well as international organisations, like Eurojust, Europol and Interpol, are sufficient to effectively fight against organised crime and terrorism?
8. What are the major challenges in your country as regards the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors and, in particular, their fight against organised crime and terrorism?
Due to the increasing complexity of some types of cases, it is important constantly to be abreast of developments. With regard to standard cases, a challenge is often to strike the right balance between efficiency and quality.