Initial training of prosecutors in the European Union


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General description

The training team in the Office of the Prosecutor General is in charge of prosecutor training. The team plans and realises training in collaboration with state prosecutors, specialised prosecutors, universities and other stakeholders. Most of the training courses are given by state prosecutors and specialised prosecutors from the National Prosecution Authority. Prosecutor training consists of basic, general, advanced and specialisation studies.

The basic studies of a prosecutor consist of a Prosecutor's Start training programme and a Basic Prosecutor Course. Prosecutor's Start is an orientation programme for new prosecutors, while the Basic Prosecutor Course deepens the prosecutors' skills and knowledge. The basic studies are part of the training of each prosecutor.

Access to the initial training

A new prosecutor is recruited for the temporary office of a junior prosecutor. During this time, they will familiarise themselves with the National Prosecution Authority and its operations and the work of a prosecutor and their role in criminal proceedings, as well as complete the Prosecutor's Start training programme.

The junior prosecutor period is a time for both the employer and the prosecutor to review the prosecutor's ability to act in this role. It is also an opportunity for the prosecutor to ensure that they are actually interested in the profession. After the junior prosecutor period, the employer and the junior prosecutor have an assessment discussion before reaching a decision as to whether the person will continue their work as a district prosecutor.

Format and content of the initial training

The Prosecutor's Start training programme is an online course covering all of the key topics for a new prosecutor, including the required study materials and exercises. It covers topics such as the prosecutor's role in criminal proceedings, decision-making and the options available to a prosecutor, limiting of a pre-trial investigation and the waiving of charges, the role of a prosecutor at a District Court, as well as matters involving publicity.

The training programme also includes New Prosecutors' Days, i.e. training events arranged as classroom teaching, and a variety of online courses. The orientation is supported and guided by a personal tutor, who is a more senior prosecutor, usually from the same office, although remote tutoring is becoming more common.

The Basic Prosecutor Course consists of four separate courses, which include a total of 11 days of classroom teaching. Objectives of the course include understanding the prosecutor's role in a pre-trial investigation and the significance of cooperation, being aware of the options available at the pre-trial investigation stage, getting to know the basics of the consideration of charges, understanding the significance and content of an application for a summons, being able to utilise the other tools available to a prosecutor, understanding the progress of a trial, the related stages and the appeal process, as well as becoming intimately familiar with the doctrines of criminal law.

Termination of the initial training and qualification process

It usually takes around two years to complete the basic studies, at which point the person is considered fit for a prosecutor. There are no examinations. When these steps have been completed, the person will continue on to the general and advanced studies.

Last update: 04/02/2022

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