1st Edition

Powers of the Prosecutor in Criminal Investigation A Comparative Perspective

By Karolina Kremens Copyright 2021
    378 Pages
    by Routledge

    378 Pages
    by Routledge

    This comparative analysis examines the scope of prosecutorial powers at different phases of criminal investigation in four countries: the United States, Italy, Poland, and Germany. Since in all four the number of criminal cases decided without trial is constantly increasing, criminal investigation has become central in the criminal process. The work asks: who should be in charge of this stage of the process? Prosecutors have gained tremendous powers to influence the outcome of the criminal cases, including powers once reserved for judges. In a system in which the role of the trial is diminishing and the significance of criminal investigation is growing, this book questions whether the prosecutor's powers at the early stage of the process should be enhanced.

    Using a problem-oriented approach, the book provides a parallel analysis of each country along five possible spheres of prosecutorial engagement: commencing criminal investigation; conducting criminal investigation, undertaking initial charging decisions; imposing coercive measures; and discontinuing criminal investigation. Using the competing adversarial–inquisitorial models as a framework, the focus is on the prosecutor as a crucial figure in the criminal process and investigation.

    The insights of this book will be of interest and relevance to students and academics in criminal justice, criminology, law, and public policy, as well as policymakers, government officials, and others interested in legal reform.

    1. Introduction

    2. Prosecution Systems Compared

    3. Criminal Investigations Compared

    4. Powers of the Prosecutor over Initiation of Investigation

    5. Powers of the Prosecutor over the Conduct of Investigation

    6. Powers of the Prosecutor over the Preliminary Charging

    7. Powers of the Prosecutor over Imposition of Coercive Measures

    8. Prosecutor's Powers to Discontinue Investigation

    9. Redefining Prosecutorial Powers During Criminal Investigation


    Karolina Kremens, LL.M., Ph.D. works as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Criminal Procedure at the Faculty of Law, Administration, and Economics, University of Wrocław, Poland. She served as an Assistant Prosecutor at the District Prosecutor's Office in Wrocław (2009–2012).

    Dr Kremens is the recipient of the 2016–2017 Fulbright Scholarship (University of Connecticut Law School, USA) and 2006–2007 Edward Barry McDougall Scholarship (University of Ottawa, Canada). She was awarded the Scholarship for the Outstanding Young Scholars granted by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2017–2019). She was a visiting scholar at the Aberystwyth University (UK), University of Exeter (UK), University of Toledo (Spain), and University of Bologna (Italy). As the McDougall Memorial Professor, Dr Kremens taught Comparative Criminal Procedure at the University of Ottawa (2014– 2020).

    She has led and participated in many national and international research projects. Currently she leads a project titled “Reasonable Search— Between Effective Investigation and Rights of Individual” funded by the Polish National Science Center and leads the Polish team in a project “Knowledge, Advisory and Capacity Building Information Tool for Criminal Procedural Rights in Judicial Cooperation” (CROSSJUSTICE) funded by the European Commission (Justice Programme 2018).

    Her research focuses on comparative and international criminal procedure, human rights and women rights during criminal proceedings and the role of the prosecutor in criminal process.