Powers of the Prosecutor in Criminal Investigation
A Comparative Perspective
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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. In all of these countries, where the majority of cases are decided by forms of adjudication in which judges are often called to just confirm agreements achieved between parties, the criminal investigation has become a central point of the criminal process. It is important to make a conscience determination regarding who shall 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 only for judges. The book attempts to answer the question of whether in the system in which the role of the trial is diminishing, and where the significance of criminal investigation is constantly growing, should the powers of the prosecutor at the early stage of the process be enhanced.
Using a problem-oriented approach that begins with the identification of a problem and then looks for potential common solutions, the book provides a parallel analysis of each country along five possible spheres of prosecutorial engagement: commencing criminal investigation, conducting criminal investigation, undertaking the initial charging decision, imposing coercive measures and discontinuing criminal investigation. Using the competing models of the adversarial versus inquisitorial approach as a framework, the focus is on the prosecutor as a crucial figure of criminal process and investigation to various degrees in different systems.
The insights of this comparative treatment are relevant to students and academics in criminal justice, criminology, law, and public policy, as well as policymakers, government officials, and others interested in legal reform.
Table of Contents
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. Powers of the Prosecutor over Discontinuation of Investigation
9. The New Shape of Prosecutorial Powers During Criminal Investigation
Karolina Kremens, LL.M., Ph.D. works as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics (University of Wrocław, Poland). She holds Magister in Law (University of Wrocław, 2004), Master in Laws (University of Ottawa, 2007) and Ph.D. in Law from (University of Wroclaw, 2008). She served as an Assistant Prosecutor at the District Prosecutor's Office in Wrocław. Dr Kremens is the recipient of the Fulbright Senior Award (UConn, US) and Edward Barry McDougall Scholarship (UOttawa, Canada). She lectured as a Visiting Scholar in UK, Spain, Italy, Canada and US. She participated in many international and national research projects. Her research focuses on comparative and international criminal procedure, human rights and women rights during criminal proceedings.