1. Constitutional Status of the Prosecution Service
Constitutionally, Prosecution Service of Georgia is part of the system of executive power. It is governed by the Chief Prosecutor the candidacy of which is nominated by the Minister of Justice of Georgia and approved and appointed by the president of Georgia. Resignation of the Government does not automatically cause the resignation of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia - his official authority is maintained.
Despite the constitutional status, the prosecution service is functionally independent. Neither the legislative nor the executive power is authorized to instruct the prosecution service about a specific case. Interrelations with the judicial power are grounded on the Criminal Procedure legislation and the principle of competitiveness must be maintained.
2. Organization of the Prosecution Service System
In order to ensure the effectiveness of the prosecution service system management and to increase the level of monitoring over the prosecution service by the society an independent body – Council of the Prosecution Service – will be established within the same system. The Council will be staffed with the representatives of bodies of the executive and the legislative powers, the prosecution service representatives and members of the academy and non-governmental organizations.
The basic function of the Council of the Prosecution Service will be organizing competitions for the candidates for prosecutors, further assisting the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia in effective management the of prosecution service system.
3. Functions of the Prosecution Service
The prosecution service will maintain its main function that is conducting criminal prosecution and supervision over pretrial investigation. The role of a prosecutor in terms of a supervising body over pretrial investigation will strengthen along with updating the criminal procedure legislation.
By adopting a new criminal procedure code an institute of discretion for criminal prosecution will be established. Namely, a prosecutor will have discretion in terms of criminal prosecution on cases of minor significance. Interests of the injured party will be considered when elaborating on the discretional prosecution system.
The Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, being a part of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, will also carry out coordination of combating against criminality by the law enforcement bodies.
The unified informational-analytical and statistical service will carry out statistics for the crimes throughout Georgia, conduct analytical research and analyze the dynamics of criminality.
4. Disciplinary pursuit of prosecutors
Disciplinary pursuit of prosecutors in the cases foreseen under the legislation will be carried out by the General Inspection of the prosecution service that is managed by the Deputy Chief Prosecutor.
The General Inspection is independent when conducting the disciplinal prosecution. The Chief Prosecutor and subordinate prosecutors will be granted a right to inform the General Inspection about disciplinal infringements. The General Inspection is not limited to the submitted information and carries out further disciplinal conduct autonomously.
Disciplinary abuses and the relevant liabilities are defined by legislative acts. Terms for imposing liability for disciplinal abuses are also predefined.
A prosecutor is liable for committing a crime (an offence) according to the general rule with the only exception that no one but the Chief Prosecutor can launch a criminal prosecution against him/her. The case investigation is carried out by the representatives of the prosecution service of Georgia.
5. Public Prosecution Service
Projects of the public prosecution service must be spread out in various regional offices of the prosecution service. The purpose of the activities of the public prosecution service is to focus prosecutors on the involvement of local populations in solving problems connected with crimes and potential crimes through a preventive approach. The local offices of the Prosecutor’s Office will be able to better respond to the needs of the local population through the improved crime prevention policy, outcomes of the opinion polls, visits to schools, social activities, local advisory council sessions and other progressive means. The said activities will further promote to raising awareness and confidence in the prosecutorial service and the criminal justice system in general.
Projects of the Public Prosecution Service are carried out in 7 regional offices of the Prosecutor’s Office at present, namely: Old Tbilisi, Telavi, Mtskheta, Akhaltsikhe, Zestaponi, Ozurgeti and Shuakhevi. These long-term projects will probably last for several years. They have been elaborated on the basis of the successful experience of the Mtskheta and the Telavi Public Prosecutor’s Offices and the great effort made by them. The said projects are basically directed at reducing criminality through the application of alternative measures.
6. Departments’ Crime Victims Assistance
Assistance Centers for Crime Victims is a joint project of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia and the Legal Aid Service. This remote initiative implies in itself a rational increase of the role of the prosecution service and strengthening it through granting priorities on the immediate interests of the crime victims. It comprises consultations, management and referral mechanisms.
The goal of a successful conduct of the Assistance Centers is to raise awareness in the society about the assistance to victims and the criminal justice bodies.
At first 3 piloting assistance centers are planned to be established in the Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Mtskheta offices of the prosecution service. Highly qualified professionals will be hired in the centers. They will go through in-depth trainings in communicational skills and first aid practice in cases of psychological traumas. After the employee of the center has made the first contact with a crime victim, according to the specific situation, he/she will:
• give the victim general consultation about his/her procedural rights/obligations.
• ensure that preliminary answers are given and issues of registering the crime are resolved.
• organize a meeting with the appropriate law-enforcment agent/s and inform them on the criminal conduct; and
• give recommendations on the Legal Aid Service and other relevant institutions.
The center further serves a one-off assistance to crime victims in terms of informing them about the institutions and projects that deal with the specific needs of crime victims.
7. Professional development of prosecutors
The Training Centre of the Analytical Department, Ministry of Justice of Georgia, pays special attention to the issues that are oriented on practice rather than on academic or innovative issues, namely, chain of imprisonments, discretion at the prosecution stage, ethics of proceedings, pleading skills, skills for drawing legal documentation, etc..
Trainings will promote the professional development of prosecutors through informational technologies.
The Training Center will establish and carry out schemes for distant learning in cooperation with the Department of Informational Technologies. The Center will be able to reduce the expenses allocated for prosecutor trainings and at the same time increase the control level over the intensity of teaching and estimation.
Simultaneously, it is planned to establish a database of all the trainings carried out by the prosecutors since 2004 and to analyzing the collected data for the purposes of identifying them according to certain needs. Degrees and other indicators like progress and/or attendance indicators are managed by the Human Resources Department. The said estimation mechanism will positively influence the future development of the professional carriers of prosecutors.