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?
The strategy of quality in the work of prosecutors is clearly defined by the management of the Prosecution Service; prosecutorial work quality indicators are set in the strategic plan and results are regularly analysed.
Every five years prosecutors’ work is assessed by Evaluation Commission. Also, the annual programmes for the prosecutors’ qualification development are set up, but due to the lack of financial resources trainings for prosecutors were not funded sufficiently, and thus continuous and effective improvement of competence cannot be ensured. In the nearest future the Prosecutor General’s Office will employ new staff specialising in prosecutors’ qualification development and competences and more funds will be allocated for this particular field.
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 criteria for securing the highest quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors are coherent legal framework, sufficient human resources, education, proper working conditions, as well as making criminal procedures clear and reasonable.
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.
There are many indicators to assess the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors in Lithuania, such as number of cases per prosecutor, average length of the pre-trial investigation, percentage of acquitted persons, percentage of overruled prosecutor’s decisions, percentage of granted appeals, percentage of defective cases returned by the court to the prosecutor for review, etc. In case of prosecutors specialising in investigation of organised crime and terrorism cases, there are no specific criteria for assessing quality and efficiency of their activities – the above mentioned criteria are applied to assess the quality and efficiency of their 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?
There is a formal procedure for evaluation of the work of prosecutors before Evaluation Commission. The procedure is mandatory for every prosecutor every 5 years. Subject to evaluation results, the Commission provides recommendations to the Prosecutor General regarding each evaluated prosecutor and has the right to offer the reward, give in-service trainings, downgrade the position or dismiss the prosecutor. Commission’s recommendations are not binding to the Prosecutor General. The evaluated prosecutors have the right to appeal against results of the evaluation to the 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?
The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania and five regional level prosecutor’s offices have divisions specialising in investigations of organised crime and corruption. Prosecutors working in these divisions also specialise in investigations of organised crime and terrorism cases. But there are no specific conditions, criteria, procedures or indicators aimed at facilitation and evaluation of the work of these prosecutors, which would be different from those applied to the prosecutors specialising in other areas of criminal procedure.
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.
On 1 January 2013 the Law on Criminal Intelligence became effective. This law is one of the main legal instruments to fight against organised crime. As a result of this legal regulation, more prosecutors were authorised to monitor the legitimacy of criminal intelligence and coordinate activities of criminal intelligence subjects.
A draft law on organised crime prevention and control has been registered in the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania. This document aims at creation of mechanism, which would allow proper and efficient organising, implementing, monitoring and controlling organised crime prevention, determining the specific preventive controlling measures, and more detailed regulation of duties and rights of authorities implementing control of organised crime, thus creating conditions enabling more efficient fight against organised crime. Adoption of this law would guarantee an important role of prosecutors in implementation of the measures aimed at prevention of organised crime. Meanwhile, according to the current legal regulations, prosecutors do not participate in the process of organised crime prevention.
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?
Current international conventions and international organisations may be considered as 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?
As a result of reorganisation of Lithuanian prosecution system in 2011-2012, the competence of chief prosecutors of divisions of organised crime and corruption investigation operating in the Prosecutor General’s Office and territorial regional prosecutor’s offices was narrowed, and their salaries were reduced. Also, after reorganisation the prosecutors working in these divisions were deprived of some additional social guarantees, protective equipment and conditions of service. Besides, more in-service trainings related with fight against organised crime and terrorism are needed.
At present, there are initiatives undertaken aimed at adopting laws providing for more social guarantees to the prosecutors working in the divisions of organised crime and corruption investigation and providing more in-service trainings to them.