public prosecutor

prosecutor

[pros-i-kyoo-ter]

Government attorney who presents the state's case against the defendant in a criminal prosecution. In some countries (France, Japan), public prosecution is carried out by a single office. In the U.S., states and counties have their own prosecutors. Only at the federal level is the system unitary; the U.S. attorney general's office appoints a U.S. attorney for each federal district. In most state and local jurisdictions, prosecutors are elected to office. Whether elected or appointed, prosecutors are often subject to political pressures. A prosecutor takes charge of the investigation once a crime has been committed, presents evidence at a hearing before a grand jury, and questions witnesses during the trial. Seealso independent counsel.

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The European Public Prosecutor is a proposed post in the European Union that can be established once the Treaty of Lisbon is ratified and has entered into force (not earlier than January 2009). A provision to establish one also was included in the failed European Constitution. The Public Prosecutor is mentioned in article 69E of the Treaty of Lisbon

  • The Council of the European Union shall act unanimously after obtaining the consent (as opposed to approval) of the European Parliament when establishing the European Public Prosecutor's office.
  • When the Council cannot decide unanimously, at least 9 Member States may request that the draft regulation be referred to the European Council.

Thus, The Treaty provides for the possibility to establish a "Public Prosecutor" for a limited number of crimes, active in at least 9 memberstates

  • The European Council can expand the powers of the Public Prosecutor to include serious cross-border crime

It has been strongly backed by European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, Franco Frattini as part of plans to strengthen the Eurojust agency. Frattini stated in August 2007 that he is "convinced that Europe will have its general prosecutor in the future" and suggested that the Commission is just waiting for the treaty to come into force (in 2009) in the hope that the position would be established within that year. He stated that a prosecutor "could prove useful" in areas "where important European interests are at stake", namely in dealing with financial crime, fraud and counterfeiting at European level.

See also

Schengen Agreement

Multi-speed Europe

References

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