25 February 2016
CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN PROSECUTORS (CCPE)
1. Does the prosecution service in your country work strategically with ensuring quality in the work of prosecutors? If yes, how is that done?
One of the fundamental rights of the Prosecutor is the right to ensure the conditions for enhance and upskilling of the qualification.
On the other hand, the basic obligation of Prosecutors is to deepen their professional Qualification.
The General Prosecutor, in the Plan of professional training and education for the Prosecution Service, annually approves training activities, which include drafts of the subordinated Prosecution Offices.
Training of Prosecutors is being realized through trainings, seminars, but also through the exchange of current acquaintance during working conferences.
Besides this form of education, Prosecutors have the possibility to join the education that is organized by the Judicial Academy of the Slovak Republic that prepares and annually approves the learning plan.
The education is organized in those forms:
1.) Preparatory education (trainee Prosecutor of the Prosecution Office),
2.) Life Learning Programme for the Judges and Prosecutors – the Prosecutor has the possibility to register electronically,
3.) Language learning.
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.
Crucial is the position of the Prosecution Office by itself as the separate hierarchically arranged uniform set of the public authorities led by the General Prosecutor. The General Prosecutor has the position of the head of a central public authority.
The Prosecutor shall especially have the right to perform the prosecutor´s profession without any intimidation, pressure, hindrances, improper interference or illegal interference with his powers and personal responsibility.
The Prosecutor has also the right to request of Superior Prosecutor that should be disqualified from handling the matter if he deems the instruction to be contrary tolaw or to his legal opinion.
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.
The indicators of sort of agenda, manner and promptness of execution of the case by the Prosecutor but also the number of cases executed by the Prosecutor in a given period of time, are included in the statistics, which are filled in by the Prosecutor after execution of each case. Presented statistics are not used for reviewing of the quality and efficiency of work of the Prosecutor as an individual, but is used for interpretation of work of the Prosecution Service as the entity. Presented data are being reflected in the statement of activity of the Prosecution Service which is annually submitted to the National Council of the Slovak Republic by the General Prosecutor. The statement contains findings of legality status, including the statistic data of activities of individual Prosecution Offices, including the Special Prosecution Office.
Head Prosecutor of each organizational Section is responsible for the quality and effectiveness of the work of Prosecutors. Superior Prosecution Offices execute periodically an inspection of the work of subordinated Prosecution Offices focused to listed indicators. The inspections can be even focused thematically for execution of certain sort of work of the Prosecution Offices. In the case of discovering of the lack in the work of Prosecutors, the measures are adopted and consequently controlled for its elimination.
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?
Rating of the work of the Prosecutor takes place always in relation to the selection procedure and disciplinary proceedings, eventually on the request of the Prosecutor regarding expiration of function of the Prosecutor.
The Prosecutor is being rated by the Head of Office based on the materials prepared by the leading Prosecutor.
Rating of itself is mostly about:
- evaluation of procedures and decision making activities of the Prosecutor, evaluation of the professional level of decision making and fluency of proceedings,
- also evaluation of knowledge of generally binding law regulations, professional regulations, increase of professional qualification,
- rating includes also evaluation of official discipline compliance
If the Prosecutor disagrees with the rating content, he or she may raise objections to the Head of Office. If the Head of Office does not comply for his or her objection, decision about the raised objections regarding the selection procedure and disciplinary proceedings will be taken by the Prosecutors´ Council and regarding the expiration of function of the Prosecutor, the Prosecutor may seek correction of the rating on the Court.
One of the attributes of rating of the Prosecutor is the continuity of the proceedings. In this context, there are periodically monitored unfinished things at all levels of the Prosecution Offices, and if necessary, the measures are taken to remove found deficiencies.
Any deficiencies in the work of the Prosecutors are rated, let us say analysed by the General Prosecutor on the periodical quarterly sessions of the General Prosecutor and Regional Prosecutors.
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?
In the context of the fight with the most serious forms of organized crime - called criminal gangs of organized groups of mafia type and also in the fight against terrorism, it was in the Slovak Republic created separated specialized prosecution authority – the Special Prosecution Office as well as the Special Criminal Court of the Slovak Republic. Within their exclusive competences belong, inter alia, all criminal offences committed by the members of the organized groups as well as all criminal offences of terrorism and related criminal offences.
Prosecutors classified to perform work on the Special Prosecution Office have the personal supplementary charge reflected in their functional salary for the mentioned agenda. Additional specific conditions, criteria, procedures or indicators in order to facilitate the work of the Prosecutor, who executes this kind of agenda, do not exist.
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.
Recently the Slovak Republic has adopted a number of the legislative changes that are directly related mainly with the fight against terrorism. In this context, it could be mentioned, the amendment to the Criminal Code, effective of 1 January 2016 (Act Nr. 444/2015 the Journal of Laws, amending the Act Nr. 300/2005 the Journal of Laws, of the Criminal Code and of amending and repealing further legislative measures). With presented Act, the multiple changes were adopted, which summarily substantially influenced the activity in the fight against terrorism. As an example it can be mentioned the provision on the protection of witness – of the criminal offence of terrorism, change of the reasons for the custody for the persons accused of criminal offences of terrorism, etc. With regards to the fact, that mentioned legislative changes entered into force only in January 2016, it is not possible to evaluate their practical relevance, but can be legitimately assumed, that will have considerable effect.
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?
We consider, that current international conventions as well as the organizations provide adequate legal basis for the effective fight against organized crime and terrorism. On the other side, as well as the individual forms of organized crime (terrorism) are changing and shaping from time to time, for the international legislation and organizations, which are dedicated the fight against those forms of criminal activity, it is absolutely necessary to respond to those changes. Our opinion is that potential difficulties in practice are not related to the lack of international legislation, but are related to the lack of applied existing legal institutes in practice.
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?
We consider the biggest challenge in prosecution of cases of organized crime and terrorism is the issue of a quality selection, education, financial remuneration of members of the Police, who are dedicated the investigation and are taking the evidence in this form of crime.