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 ensuring quality in the work of Prosecutors in Latvia is being performed a range of measures, of which the most important are the following:
1) The preventive monitoring performed by superior Prosecutors regarding quality of fulfilment of Prosecutor’s most important work duties.
2) The planned inspections of work of Prosecutor’s and Prosecution Office divisions performed by superior Prosecutors.
3) Assessment of the quality of decision taken by Prosecutor, if such decision is appealed.
4) Evaluation of Prosecutor’s professional performance.
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.
In our point of view the independence and impartiality unambiguously is the pre-condition so that a person could be in position of Prosecutor at all. Sufficient human resources, technical and material supplies and working conditions are daily necessity for ensuring of quality and efficiency of Prosecutor’s work. In addition to that it is necessary to use such management arrangements which are motivating employees to do a job as better as possible. Nevertheless it is also substantial to ensure that employees have enough knowledges and skills for performing of their job, that they have a possibility to accumulate valuable experience, that they are keen to follow the changes both in legal framework and technologies and social processes as well. Due to that one of priorities in Latvia is to facilitate the constant professional growth of Prosecutors during the performing of work duties.
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 Latvia for evaluation of Prosecutor’s work quality and efficiency are used large number of official criteria. The most significant among them are the following: complying with the law provisions, including procedural deadlines, various quantitative indicators (number of resolved cases, number of taken decisions, participation in case examinations with the court etc.), complexity of the cases, quality of work results (examining, what is the quality of cases, in which Prosecutor is supervising the investigation, what is the quality of Prosecutor’s decisions, what were reasons for acquittal judgments in cases lodged with the court etc.), applying of different professional skills in work.
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?
In Latvia is performed official evaluation of professional performance of Prosecutors according to the Law and internal legal acts of the Prosecution Office. Individual evaluation of each Prosecutor is performed no less than once per five years by Prosecutor’s attestation commission, which is self-governance institution of Prosecutors. Prosecutor’s attestation commission provides positive or negative opinion on performance of Prosecutor under evaluation, but such opinion has legal consequences only in case if it is confirmed by Prosecutor General. If the professional performance of any specific Prosecutor receives repeated negative evaluation, Prosecutor shall be dismissed. Prosecutors have rights to present official objections against the opinion of Prosecutor’s attestation commission, as well as to appeal with the Court the dismissal order of Prosecutor General.
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?
With purpose to ensure the involvement of high level professionals into the fight with the organized crime and terrorism, in Latvia Prosecutor’s functions in this field are performed by special authorities: Prosecution Office for Fighting with the Organized Crime and Other Branches, Division of Especially Authorized Prosecutors of the Prosecutor’s General Office and Division for Investigation of Especially Important Cases of the Criminal Law Department of the Prosecutor’s General Office. Substantial contribution into the fight with the organized crime and financing of terrorism is provided also by the Service for Prevention of Money Laundering established by Prosecutor General. In the mentioned authorities are working experienced and highly professional officials, as well as for them is ensured equipment necessary for their work and reinforced security regime.
During the evaluation of professional performance of any Prosecutor his/her work in that specific field, where he/she is performing Prosecutors duties, is thoroughly evaluated. Hence regarding Prosecutors, who are fulfilling these functions in fight with the organized crime and terrorism, are evaluated the performance results and quality, professional skills, professional growth and other criteria specifically in these fields.
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.
As in Latvia was experienced the flourishing of the organized crime in the nineties, but in its turn new challenges in fight with the terrorism were encountered by the entire world after terrorist attacks in USA on September 11, 2001, consequently in Latvia during the last decade intensively and systematically were improved the legal acts in the field with fighting against the organized crime and terrorism, regularly adapting them to the new challenges and new possibilities, hence safeguarding the security of the state and society, as well as providing respective powers and instruments to the competent institutions involved in this fight, including Prosecution Office.
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?
International conventions and international organisations are ensuring stable base and giving necessary instruments for fight with the regular organized crime and separate cases of terrorism, but they not always are sufficiently efficient for fight with new and larger terrorism threats which are possible due to geopolitical changes in Europe and its neighbouring regions.
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?
It does not seem that any problems relevant specifically to our country would exist. The fight against the organized crime and terrorism in no country is easy, especially in the situation of growing threats of different kind. Hence as priority would be necessary to identify possibilities and methods for solving of those problems, which are more or less relevant to all Member States of the European Union.