The Italian Public Prosecutor: An Inquisitorial Figure in Adversarial Proceedings?
University of Bologna - Department of Juridical Sciences
December 23, 2011
TRANSNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON PROSECUTORIAL POWER, E. Luna, M. Wade, eds., Oxford University Press, 2011
The Italian prosecutor embodies a peculiar combination of official duties and actual practices: he is formally a member of the judiciary independent of the political branches; he is charged with impartial investigations of crime but is likely only to gather damning evidence; he serves as a party in the presentation of evidence at trial yet is empowered to act on behalf of the defendant after trial; and ultimately, he is bound to impose the court’s sentence. A prominent scholar once described the Italian Prosecutor using the oxymoronic term “impartial party.” Today, the prosecutor has become an inquisitorial figure in adversarial proceedings, the result of a long-term experiment in criminal procedure reform. In many ways, he remains a work in progress. This chapter will explore the background and function of the Italian prosecutor, noting along the way the ongoing issues of debate that will shape the future of the Public Prosecution Service.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: criminal process, prosecutor, criminal justice, prosecution, accusatorial and inquisitorial
Date posted: December 24, 2011