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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the place of the public prosecutor in common law and civil law jurisdictions. It first describes the institutional positioning of public prosecutors, particularly vis-à-vis the executive power, before discussing their role and powers in regard to the pretrial phase. It then considers the increasing tendency to entrust the public prosecutor with quasi-judicial sanctioning powers in the context of out-of-court procedures (“prosecutorial adjudication”). It also examines the role of specialized law enforcement authorities in the exercise of investigative and prosecutorial functions, coercive measures and the need for judicial authorization, and prosecutorial discretion and alternatives to trial proceedings. Finally, it explains how independence, centralization and decentralization, legality and opportunity of prosecution, and the alternatives to trial proceedings have been translated to the supranational design of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO).

Keywords: public prosecutor, quasi-judicial sanctioning, prosecutorial adjudication, investigative functions, prosecutorial functions, judicial authorization, prosecutorial discretion, prosecution, trial proceedings, EPPO

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