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Prosecutions

Summary of the Internal Guidelines for Prosecutors on delegation of prosecutorial functions (Version 2 dated: 15 July 2022)

Internal Guidelines set out the steps that the prosecutors at the Office of the Attorney General shall follow relative to delegation of prosecutorial functions vested in the Attorney General set out in Article 347A (a) of the Criminal Code (Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta), and serve to formalize in writing the procedure of delegation of prosecutorial functions that was adopted in practice. The relevant provisions at law must be read in conjunction with the provisions of the Attorney General Ordinance (Chapter 90 of the Laws of Malta) and with the Prosecution of Offences (Transitory Provisions) Regulations (SL 90.01).

The guidelines establish that the power of delegation is used, by way of exception, and only when absolutely necessary in order to safeguard the criminal proceedings that were instituted by the Police (prior to the taking over of the decision to prosecute by the Attorney General) and in the best interests of the administration of justice. Therefore, such delegation can only take place in the transitory phase whereby the decision to prosecute is being taken in phases by the Attorney General.  

The only other scenario where such delegation can take place is in the event of the necessity to eradicate conflicts of interests and to ensure the perception of independence of the prosecution service is preserved and safeguarded from apparent or potential bias.  The term ‘conflict of interests’ shall mean a prosecution that needs to be instituted against a public prosecutor or a former public prosecutor.

Apart from establishing such principles, the guidelines also set out the procedures that are to be employed in such circumstances.

Contact Information:
 Office of the Attorney General 
Admiralty House, 53,
South Street,
Valletta, VLT 1101
 
 Telephone
+356 2248 8800
 
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