The Functions of the Prosecution Office
The RA Prosecutor's Office acts based on the RA Law “On Prosecutor's Office”, in the frame of its authorities prescribed by the RA Constitution.
According to the article 3 of the RA Law “On Prosecutor's Office” the authorities of the RA Prosecutor's Office are:
1.To initiate criminal prosecution
2. To implement control over the legality of preliminary investigation and inquiry
3.Tosupport the prosecution on criminal cases in courts
4.To present state interests' protection suits to the court
5. To appeal the acts, verdicts, sentences or the decisions of the court
6.To supervise over the implementation of punishment and other means of enforcement measures
1. Initiate Criminal Prosecution as Prescribed by Law
The order and bases of initiating criminal prosecution are defined by RA Criminal Procedure Code. According to the Article 24 of RA Law “On Prosecutor's Office” the initiation of criminal prosecution is the exclusive right of the prosecutor.
2. Control over the Legality of Preliminary Investigation and Inquiry
The prosecutorial control over the legality of preliminary investigation and inquiry includes total pre-trial stage of the criminal proceedings. The reason is to prevent the cases when an innocent person is suspected in the crime, is accused or sentenced; when a person illegally or without any necessity is subjected to the measures of compulsion or to the other limitations of rights and freedoms; and to disclose any person committed a crime.
According to the Article 25 of RA Law “On Prosecutor's Office”, as a rule, control over the legality of preliminary investigation and inquiry is implemented by the prosecutor who initiated criminal prosecution on the criminal case, with the exception of cases as prescribed by law, when he is replaced by a superior prosecutor. If the criminal prosecution is initiated by a superior prosecutor , he can task the control over the legality of preliminary investigation and inquiry of the criminal case to a prosecutor under him.
While implementing control over the legality of preliminary investigation and inquiry the prosecutor is independent and acts without the permission and agreement of the superior prosecutor. The superior prosecutor is not competent to abolish or change the acts of the prosecutor implementing control over the legality of preliminary investigation and inquiry with the exception of cases as prescribed by law.
The prosecutor implementing control is responsible for the completeness, objectiveness, versatility and effectiveness of the inquiry and preliminary investigation.
The superior prosecutor can instruct the prosecutor implementing control with the purpose of providing the legality of the investigation of the case. The instructions are made in written form. The prosecutor implementing control is obliged to do the instruction of the superior prosecutor, with the exception of cases when he considers the instruction unfounded or illegal. In such cases the prosecutor implementing control is obliged to refuse to do it immediately informing in written form the superior prosecutor instructed him, who has the right to take up the control himself or task the implementation of it to another prosecutor.
The prosecutor implementing control over the legality of preliminary investigation and inquiry has the right to make a decision on removing the person implementing preliminary investigation and inquiry from the proceeding in cases as prescribed by law, but he can not make a decision on appointing a new person.
The prosecutor implementing control over the legality of preliminary investigation and inquiry can apply to the appropriate body implementing preliminary investigation and inquiry with mediation of conducting an official investigation against the person implementing inquiry and preliminary investigation.
3. Support the Prosecution on Criminal Cases in Courts
The support of prosecution, as a rule, is implemented by the prosecutor implementing control over the legality of preliminary investigation and inquiry with the exception of cases prescribed by law, when he is replaced by a superior prosecutor. In exclusive cases the superior prosecutor has the right to involve other prosecutors as well in the implementation of the procedural authorities of the prosecutor supporting the prosecution.
The presence of the prosecutor supporting the prosecution is obligatory on the trial in the Court of First Instance and Appeal Court, including preliminary hearings.
The prosecutor supporting the prosecution is obliged to give up the prosecution in cases provided by RA Criminal Procedure Code. In case of giving up the prosecution in the court the court brings in a justificatory verdict on that part of the prosecution.
If in the Court of First Instance the prosecutor considers that the accusation is subject to commutation or reinforcement as circumstances which were not known during the pre-trial proceeding became known during the investigation, the prosecutor has the right to present mediation to the court to postpone the trial with the purpose of reconsidering the deed. The court postpones the session by the prosecutor’s mediation to perform necessary investigation activities and bring a new charge. The session can be postponed for not more than a month with the exception of cases when a longer term is required to perform necessary investigation activities. The court is obliged to postpone the session by the mediation of the defendant or his/her defence, the victim or his/her representative in order to give time to get acquainted with the new charge.
4. Present State Interests' Protection Suits to the Court
1.Bringing state interests' protection suit to the court by the prosecutor involves
1. bringing state property interests protection suit to the court by civil procedure order,
2. bringing state property and non-property interests protection suit to the court by administrative procedure order
3. bringing suit of compensating the property damage caused directly to the state by crime by criminal procedure
2.The prosecutor brings state property interests protection suit to the court only if
1.while implementing his authorities he discovers that the state or local self-governing body which has the right to bring a suit to the court on state interests' protection, being informed about the violation of state interests, hasn't brought a suit to the court in a reasonable term or doesn't do it after receiving an offer to bring a suit from the prosecutor or
2. violation of state interests took place on issues bringing suit of which is not prescribed to any state or local self-governing body by legislation or
3. the competent state or local self-governing body has applied to the prosecutor with mediation of bringing a suit to the court or
4. the state is directly caused a property damage by a crime or
5. the state interests' protection suit is brought to the courts of other countries or arbitrages taking place out of Armenia with the exception of cases when the government of the Republic of Armenia (hereinafter government) authorizes another body or organization.
3. The prosecutor is obliged to bring a state interests' protection suit to the court provided by the points 1. 2, 4 and 5 of the part 2 of this article.
4. If the prosecutor considers that sufficient bases are available to bring a state interests' protection suit to the court, he has the right to warn the person having inflicted the state interests about compensating the damage willingly before bringing a suit to the court.
5. The competence of bringing a suit according to this article involves implementing all those rights and obligations which are prescribed to the plaintiff, applicant and the defendant according to procedural law.
6. In order to prepare materials in case of availability of bases for bringing an action on protection of state interests the prosecutor has a right
1.to make checking, to require and receive legal acts, documents and other information in the state and local self-governing bodies and state non-commercial organizations.
2. to require and receive explanations from the officials of the state and local self-governing bodies and state non-commercial organizations.
7.The prosecutor implements the authorities provided by the part 6 of this article also in cases when the information source of violation fact of state interests is the President of the Republic, the government, the Supervisory Board of the Republic of Armenia, the temporary committee of the National Assembly or the National Assembly according to the decision made as a result of interpellation.
8. The authorities provided by the part 6 of this article shall not come out of the frames of the state interests’ protection suit.
5. Appeal the Acts, Verdicts, Sentences or the Decisions of the Court
1.The prosecutor is obliged to appeal the act not having legal force which, in his opinion, is illegal or not grounded.
2.The prosecutor who took part in the judicial investigation or the superior prosecutor can appeal the acts not having legal force on the criminal cases of the courts
3.The prosecutor who took part in the judicial investigation or the superior prosecutor can appeal the acts not having legal force on civil cases.
4. The prosecutor who presented the prosecution supports the prosecution, if it is the Prosecutor General or the Deputy Prosecutor General who presented the prosecution he/she or another prosecutor tasked by him/her supports the prosecution.
5. The act on criminal case on the part of civil suit can be appealed by the prosecutor if it concerns the state property interests.
6. Appeals against the acts having entered into force can be presented only by the Prosecutor General and the Deputy Prosecutors General. Moreover, the act entered into force on civil or administrative cases concerning the state interests can be appealed by the Prosecutor General and Deputy Prosecutors General regardless the participation of the prosecution in the investigation of the given case.
7. The prosecution presented by the prosecutor can be taken back by the prosecutor who presented the prosecution or by the superior prosecutor.
8. The prosecutor has the right to get acquainted with the case materials, to get the copy of the case material in the court without any limitations.
6. . Supervise over the Implementation of Punishment and other Means of Enforcement Measures
Prosecutor, implementing these authorities, has a right to:
- attend, any time and without any limitations, the places where people deprived from freedom are held.
- get acquainted with the documents on the base of which the person is subjected to punishment or other enforcement measures,
- check the punishments and the punishments of the bodies implementing other means of enforcement measures, whether or not the rulings, indications and decisions of the administration of the bodies implementing punishments and other means of enforcement measures comply with the acting legislation which concern the main rights of the persons subjected to punishment or other means of enforcement. In case of finding an act which is in conflict with the legislation the prosecutor mediates to reconsider it, and in cases when the prosecutor thinks that the delay can cause grievous results, he/she has the right to detain the implementation of the act and to present a mediation to reconsider it.
- interrogate the persons subjected to punishment or other enforcement measures,
- immediately release the persons kept illegally in the places of deprivation of freedom, as well as in disciplinary and penal isolators , and if the person was deprived of freedom on the base of the act of the place of deprivation of freedom, by prosecutor's task the person who has made the act is obliged to abolish it,
- require explanations from the officials on the taken activities in case of doubt in violation of rights and freedom of persons subjected to punishment or other means of enforcement,
- in the court the prosecutor takes part in the investigation of the mediation on early conventional releasing of the defendant, abolishing the early conventional releasing, replacing the punishment by a milder one, releasing from punishment as a result of a disease or extreme cases.
Prosecution Bodies are independent while acting in the framework of their authorities. Each prosecutor makes decisions himself based on the laws and inner belief and is responsible for them. Any sign of interference in the prosecutor’s activity carries a liability prescribed by the article 6 of the RA Law “On Prosecutor’s Office”.
A prosecutor and an Investigator are not obliged to give explanations concerning the cases in their diaries. The Prosecution Office is acting publicly until it conflicts with the rights, freedoms and legal interests of a person or a citizen, as well as with the principle of the state secrets maintenance. According to the article 7 of the RA Law “On Prosecutor’s Office” the prosecutor can not be a member of any political party or be engaged in other political activities. In any case the prosecutor is obliged to show political reticence and neutrality. The prosecutor can take part in the elections of state and local self-governing bodies only as a voter. The prosecutor can not take part in the electoral campaign.
The Prosecutor General
The prosecutor General is superior to a Province Prosecutor, Yerevan City Prosecutor, Yerevan City Administrative Districts Prosecutors, as well as to the Military Prosecutor and Military Units’ Prosecutors. The authorities of the Prosecutor General are defined by the RA Constitution and the RA Law ''On Prosecutor's Office''.
According to the article 10 of the RA Law ''On Prosecutor's Office'' the Prosecutor General
1. implements the ruling of the Prosecutor’s Office,
2. defines the policy of the implementation of the authorities of the Prosecutor’s Office and provides the control over its implementation,
3. performs the division of duties between his/her Deputies,
4. establishes the structure of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Military Prosecutor's Office, defines the authority framework of structural subdivisions of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Central Military Prosecutor's Office,
5. defines the number of positions of the Prosecutor’s Office in the framework of the funds provided by law,
6. adopts internal and individual legal acts within his/her jurisdiction and regulatory acts - in cases provided directly by law,
7. establishes ''The Code of Conduct for Prosecutors'',
8. establishes the charter of the staff of the Prosecutor’s Office,
9. establishes and changes the name list and number of positions of the state employees in the staff of the Prosecutor’s Office,
10. implements the authorities of the founder of state management office '' Staff of the Prosecutor's Office'' and state non-commercial organization ''Prosecution School'',
11. creates councils attached to the Prosecutor General, defines their activity order,
12. implements other authorities prescribed by law
2. The Prosecutor General is competent to implement the authorities provided by the Article 103 of the Constitution over the whole area of the Republic of Armenia.
3. The Prosecutor General applies to the Constitutional Court on the issues of regulatory acts statements concerning the case present in the proceeding of the Prosecutor's Office provided by the RA Law ''On Constitutional Court''. He/she takes part in the investigation of the case in the Constitutional Court or appoints a representative to take part in it.
The RA Prosecutor General Heads the Collegium of the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Armenia.