Prosecution in France
Hodgson, Jacqueline and Soubise, Laurène (2016) Prosecution in France. In: Oxford Handbooks online. New York: Oxford University Press
21 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2017 Last revised: 21 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 4, 2017
This essay examines the increasingly ambivalent role and status of the French prosecutor, the procureur. As a judicial officer (magistrat), she is required to act in and to uphold the public interest, but her hierarchical accountability to the executive and her role in the formation and implementation of local criminal justice policy threaten her independence, notably in the eyes of her fellow magistrats. The dominance of the executive, both politically and through the imposition of managerialist imperatives, is felt in the ever-expanding role of the procureur, especially in the local sphere. Whilst the limited forms of legal and structural accountability in place leave the prosecutor with broad discretion, this is diminished through the drive to standardization resulting from the delegation of work to fulfill the demands of dealing with greater numbers of cases more quickly, with fewer resources.
Keywords: French Prosecutor, Prosecution, French Criminal Justice, Comparative Criminal Justice, Prosecutorial Independence, Prosecutorial Discretion, Prosecutorial Accountability
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