July 6 @ 11:45 - 13:15 Wroclaw (CEST)
Public Prosecutors in Europe: Questioning Their Independence to Foster Trust and Achieve Effective Enforcement
What makes public prosecutors sufficiently independent from the executive? In the EU there is a revived interest in this subject since the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor‘s Office (EPPO) and a 2019 CJEU judgment (C-508/18 – C-82/19) holding that a risk for public prosecutors to be subject to instructions from the Minister of Justice when issuing of a European arrest warrant may compromise their ability to function as ‘issuing judicial authority‘ in surrender proceedings. Followed by other rulings, this case law has sparked off a wider debate on public prosecutors‘ independence in domestic criminal justice systems, focusing i.a. on the risk of politically influenced prosecution decisions. The latter would affect citizens‘ trust in public prosecutors and cross-border cooperation in criminal matters. Moreover, the EPPO‘s independence is considered essential to ensure effective enforcement. This panel gathers domestic and EU perspectives, discussing the challenges ahead.