Code of Ethics PDF Print E-mail

 

Any person who exercises the powers of a public prosecutor must be able to prove that he/she will use it not only in compliance with the law but also in compliance with fundamental moral rules recognized by civilized society. Such a person declares his consent with these rules in his oath that reads as follows: “I vow on my honor and conscience to proceed always in compliance with the Constitution and laws of the Czech Republic as well as international conventions while protecting public interest, and to respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity, and maintain confidentiality of what I will learn while performing the duties of a public prosecutor, even after my term of office is over. I will protect the dignity of my profession while performing the duties of my office as well as in my private life."[1]

 

The Code of Professional Ethics of a Public Prosecutor can, to a certain extent, be described as an elaboration of values contained in this oath. The basic source of inspiration were “The Rules of Professional Responsibility and a Survey of Fundamental Duties and Rights of Prosecutors” adopted by the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) on 23 April, 1999 in Amsterdam.

 

In addition, the principles contained in the following codes of ethics were taken into account:

 

1.Code of Ethics of the Association of Judges of the Slovak Republic [2].

2.Principles of Ethical Conduct of Lawyers [3], elaborated by the Board of the Union of Czech Lawyers [3].

3.Ethical Principles of the Conduct of Judges [4] adopted by the Union of Judges of the Czech Republic.

4.Moral Code of Public Prosecutors [5].

5.Code of Ethics of Civil Servants.

 

Upon considering all comments, the Code of Professional Ethics of Public Prosecutors was adopted as follows:

 

I. Independence

 

Public prosecutors shall perform their powers consistently under the law and to the best of their belief, independent of other bodies and local, political, private or other influences or interests.

 

Public prosecutors shall act independently of other bodies and institutions, and they shall reject any attempt of political, economic and other private of public subjects to interfere in an unauthorized manner. They shall not be afraid to object to this interference and influence, and they shall be aware of their possible responsibility if they fail to resist the pressure.

 

II. Impartiality

 

Public prosecutors shall avoid any unauthorized favoritism or discrimination of persons who are involved in performance of their office. They shall perform their duties so their impartiality is not questioned.

 

Public prosecutors shall neither favor nor discriminate against anyone because of their nationality, race, ethnic, religious, sexual, age, social, or political membership or because of subjective impression. Public prosecutors, who are aware of facts which could cast doubt on their impartiality, shall initiate the legal procedure leading to their expulsion from handling the case. They shall resist a possible influence of public opinion or the media, and they shall not seek popularity.

 

III. Objectivity

 

Public prosecutors shall take into consideration all facts which are essential for reviewing the case.

 

Public prosecutors shall always seek justice within the limits of the law and use the tools consigned to them, and they shall be prepared to accept any conclusion facts which will result from the investigation.

 

IV. Professionalism

 

Public prosecutors shall cultivate their professional skills and deepen their legal knowledge so they can perform their competence on the highest possible professional level. They shall avoid using any alibi or formalistic procedures.

 

Public prosecutor’s measures shall be taken with greatest care on the highest professional level. Public prosecutor shall act on the basis of the knowledge of legal regulations, judicial decision practice and theoretical opinions. If public prosecutors do not have this knowledge they are obliged to get it. They shall be prepared to defend their course of action and accept responsibility for it. In executing their powers they shall always bear in mind that their measures are only the means of fulfilling the tasks of the public prosecution service. Public prosecutors shall protect the information they have obtained when executing their powers.

 

V. Initiative

 

If public prosecutors have information indicating there is a legal reason for executing their power, they shall proceed swiftly and effectively to discover the actual state of the case and take necessary measures.

 

VI. Behave with Dignity

 

Public prosecutors shall act in a calm, decent and firm manner

 

Public prosecutors shall maintain decent relations with their colleagues, representatives of other institutions, parties and other persons with whom they have official relations. They shall behave correctly and decently to colleagues who have different opinions, to subordinate public prosecutors and other employees, police who they supervise, as well as to persons facing criminal charges.  They shall always keep in mind that decent behavior and a relevant and calm argumentation promotes their own authority as well as that of the whole public prosecution service.

 

VII. Cooperation

 

In the interest of justice and the effectiveness of proceedings public prosecutors shall act in cooperation with their colleagues as well as with other law enforcement authorities, including their colleagues abroad.

 

VIII. Credibility

 

Public prosecutors shall act and behave in their office as well as in their private life so they do not harm their own credibility and the credibility of the public prosecution service.

 


[1] Full text can be found at www.iap.nl.com. Partial translation also Fenyk, J.: Veřejná žaloba, díl první, Msp Praha, 2002, str. 139.

[2] Pelikán, J.: Etický kódex Združenia sudcou Slovenska, Soudce 2000, č. 7, str. 4, 5.

[3] Motejl, O.: Zásady etického chování právníků, Právní rozhledy 1999, č. 4, str. 217

[4] www.soudci.cz

[5] Union 1999, č. 2, attachment

 

 
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