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Strasbourg, 7 January/janvier

CCPE(2011)1 PROV2





with a view to the preparation of the

    Opinion No.6 (2011) of the CCPE

on the relationships between prosecutors and prison administration, in particular in the light of the Recommendation Rec(2006)2 on the European prison rules





This questionnaire is addressed to prosecutors and the member of the CCPE of each State shall be responsible for collecting of replies.

In some States, prosecutors have only reduced powers within matters of prison administration. Some States will therefore not be able to reply to all questions.

It will not be implied from the fact that this questionnaire was answered that prosecutiors shall have a role in this matter.

The scope of the questionnaire is identical to that of Recommendation Rec(2006)2 (see para.10): this questionnaire concerns any person deprived of liberty, in any form whatsoever and not strictly the person detained in a prison.

This questionnaire does not concern the enforcement of sanctions in general but is limited to the prosecutor’s supervision of the legality of the enforcement of sanctions.

Ce questionnaire s’adresse aux procureurs et le membre du CCPE au titre de chaque Etat est responsable de la collecte des rponses.

Dans certains Etats, les procureurs ont peu de comptences en matire d’administration pnitentiaire. Certains Etats ne pourront donc pas rpondre toutes les questions.

Le fait de rpondre ce questionnaire ne sous-entend pas que les procureurs doivent avoir un rle en la matire.

Le champ d’application du questionnaire est le mme que celui de la Recommandation Rec(2006)2 (voir para.10) : ce questionnaire concerne toute personne prive de libert, sous quelque forme que ce soit, et non simplement de la personne dtenue dans un tablissement pnitentiaire.

Ce questionnaire ne concerne pas l’excution des sanctions de manire gnrale et se limite au contrle de la lgalit de l’excution des sanctions par le procureur.

Question 2

What are the Prosecution Service’s powers regarding prison matters and in terms of deprivation of liberty?

Quelles sont les comptences du Ministre public en matire pnitentiaire et en matire de privation de libert ?

As a main rule, the Prosecution Service does not have powers regarding prison matters or regarding the terms relating to the deprivation of liberty etc. of sentenced persons. Thus, all question related to prison matters of sentenced persons are handled by the Danish Prison and Probation Service.

The Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman does moreover have the right and role to inspect prisons and detention facilities. The Ombudsman has furthermore been assigned competences relating to inspections under the auspices of the UN’s Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The Prosecution Service does however have powers relating to the terms of the deprivation of liberty of non-sentenced persons i.e. deprivation of liberty of accused or indicted persons during trial.

These powers relate inter alia to the application of restrictions regarding detained persons’ use of means of communication (i.e. sending and receiving letters, telephone calls etc.) and rights to receive visitors etc. All restrictions imposed upon the detained person by the Prosecution Service can be brought before the courts.

The Prosecution Service would furthermore assess whether pre-trial detention in isolation is required. It is however for the court to decide whether pre-trial detention in isolation is necessary.

Question 3

In States where prosecutors do not have full authority in prison matters, what are nevertheless their means of action used as regards prisons ?

Dans les Etats dans lesquels les procureurs n’ont pas de comptence gnrale en matire de prisons, quels sont nanmoins les moyens d’action dont ils disposent concernant les systmes pnitentiaires ?

Refer to question 2.

Question 4

If prosecutors have general competences as regard prisons and detention, what kind of means have been provided to the Prosecution Service to allow its effective and fast action towards protecting human rights in matters of prison administration?

Si les procureurs sont comptents en matire de prisons et de dtention, quels sont les moyens disposition du Ministre public pour lui permettre d’agir efficacement et rapidement pour protger les droits de l’homme en matire d’administration pnitentiaire ?

N/A as the Prosecution Service does not have general powers regarding prison and detention matters and is therefore not assigned with the task of the protection of prisoners’ or detained persons’ human rights in general.

Question 5

What are the positive and decisive elements of the prosecutor’s role in terms of protecting Human rights compared to other mechanisms of legal protection?

Quels sont les lments positifs et dterminants du rle du procureur en matire de protection des droits de l’homme, par rapport aux autres mcanismes de protection juridique ?

N/A as the Prosecution Service’s does not have general powers regarding prison and detention matters. Refer to question 4.

Question 6

What could be the improvements to this system of protection?

Quels sont les amliorations qui pourraient tre apportes ce systme de protection ?

N/A as the Prosecution Service’s does not have general powers regarding prison and detention matters. Refer to question 4.

Question 7

Do prosecutors have jurisdiction to examine whether the rights (Human rights and especially procedural rights) of persons in criminal (for example as regards enforcement of prison sentences or pre-trial detention) or administrative detention are respected at the detention centre?

Le procureur a-t-il comptence pour examiner si les droits (droits de l’homme et en particulier droits procduraux) des personnes dtenues ou retenues (par exemple en matire d’excution de peines de prison ou de dtention provisoire) sont respects au centre de dtention?

No. The Prosecution Service would however assess whether any limitation of inter alia the rights described under question 2 for persons being pre-trial detained would be in accordance with any applicable human right’s standards before imposing limitations.

Question 8

Can a prisoner meet in private with a prosecutor to determine whether they had been subjected to torture or to any other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment?

Les dtenus peuvent-ils avoir une entrevue en tte--tte avec le procureur pour savoir s’ils ont t exposs un acte de torture ou tout autre peine ou traitement inhumain ou dgradant ?


Question 9

Do prosecutors examine, and if so, how frequently, whether the accomodation provided to prisoners meet the recommendations of the Council of Europe (and namely of the European Committee for the prevention of Torture/CPT1? Can prosecutors make proposals in that direction which have an influence on the relevant budget ?

Le procureur examine-t-il, le cas chant quelle frquence, si l’hbergement des dtenus respecte les recommandations du Conseil de l’Europe (et en particulier du Comit europen pour la prvention de la torture/CPT)1 ?
Le procureur peut-il faire des propositions en ce sens ayant une influence sur le budget concern ?


Question 10

What kind of means exist for prosecutors to deal with authorities or officers/employees which have not completely or properly enforced the decisions of the court or the Prosecution Service related to punishments and/or measures involving deprivation of liberty? If a prosecutor detects such negligence, is he entitled to give binding instructions for the immediate termination of the breach of law? Is it in their power to initiate criminal or disciplinary proceedings, actions for damages or any other kind of impeachment? What other prosecutorial instruments are at his disposal ?

De quels moyens dispose le procureur l’encontre des autorits ou agents qui n’excutent pas compltement ou correctement les dcisions du tribunal ou du procureur concernant les sanctions et/ou les mesures privatives de libert ? Si le procureur dtecte une ngligence, peut-il donner des instructions contraignantes visant faire cesser immdiatement l’infraction la loi ? Peut-il initier une procdure pnale ou disciplinaire, une action en rparation ou tout autre type d’action en contestation ? Quels sont les autres instruments d’action publique sa disposition  ?

The Prosecution Service does not have powers in this regard. Refer to question 2.

Question 11

How often do prosecutors carry out monitoring visits of institutions of criminal and administrative detention? Are there concrete follow-ups related to these visits?

Quelle est la frquence des visites de contrle du procureur dans les lieux de dtention et de rtention? Ces visites peuvent-elles faire l’objet d’un suivi concret ?

N/A refer to question 2.

Question 12

Within the framework of their monitoring duties, do prosecutors have the power to take action at any time of the day (even at night) in the institutions of criminal and administrative detention?

Le procureur a-t-il la possibilit d’intervenir toute heure (mme la nuit) dans le lieu de dtention et de rtention dans le cadre de sa tche d’inspection?

N/A refer to question 2.

Question 13

May prosecutors commission experts to assist them in their tasks related to supervision and inspection?

Pour leurs tches de contrle et d’inspection, les procureurs ont-ils la possibilit de recourir des experts ?

N/A refer to question 2.

Question 14

Are complaints and/or denunciations regarding criminal and administrative detention subject to prosecutorial inquiry independently of any relevant authority or employees/officers? Is it a prosecutor’s duty to complete investigations himself/herself or is he/she allowed to forward these complaints for investigation to the officers/employees that are the subject of those complaints?

Les plaintes et/ou dnonciations concernant la dtention et la rtention font-elles l’objet d’investigations par le procureur, indpendamment des autorits ou des agents concerns?Le procureur a-t-il le devoir d’enquter lui-mme ou peut-il transmettre les plaintes pour enqute aux agents qui sont l’objet de la plainte ?

N/A refer to question 2.

Question 15

In case of sudden death, accident or criminal offence committed against a prisoner, or if a prisoner commits a crime against another prisoner or a prison staff member, is the investigation conducted by a prosecutor acting as an independent judicial authority or is it simply supervised by a prosecutor? Do prosecutors have any role in investigations?

En cas de dcs subit, d’accident ou d’infraction pnale l’encontre du dtenu, ou si celui-ci commet un crime l’encontre d’un autre dtenu ou d’un agent de l’administration pnitentiaire, l’affaire est-elle instruite par le procureur en tant qu’instance judiciaire indpendante ou est-elle simplement contrle par le procureur ? Les procureurs ont-ils un rle quelconque dans l’enqute ?

The Prosecution Service would investigate crimes etc. conducted during detention or in a prison or detention facility as ordinary crime. The investigation would against this background be governed by the ordinary procedures etc. following from the Danish Administration of Justice Act. Sudden deaths or suicides in prisons would initially be examined by the Danish Prisons or Probation Service, and would only be handed over to the Prosecution Service if it were assessed that a criminal offence might have been committed.
In cases where a person in police custody dies or is seriously injured, the case will be investigated by the Prosecution Service. However, from 1 January 2012, a new independent Police Complaint Authority will take over the investigation of cases where people die or are seriously injured during police custody.

Question 16

Are prosecutors entitled to take action in procedures concerning the adoption/revocation of special measures for high-risk detainees or subject to special restrictions in connection with their role and position in active criminal organisations? If so, how?

Le procureur peut-il intervenir, et le cas chant de quelle manire, dans des procdures concernant l’adoption/la rvocation de mesures spciales pour les dtenus haut risque ou soumis des restrictions spcifiques en raison de leur rle et leur position dans les organisations criminelles actives ?

Refer to question 2 regarding the competences of the Prosecution Service regarding detained non-sentenced persons.

Question 17

With a view to preserving them from any type of influence, are prosecutors autonomous or subordinated to other colleagues when monitoring the detention’s legality?

Afin de les protger contre toute forme d’influence, les procureurs exercent-ils de manire autonome le contrle de la lgalit de la dtention ou sont-ils subordonns d’autres collgues?

N/A refer to question 2.

Question 18

Is a prosecutor involved in granting a person’s pardon, amnesty or release, especially in the case of negative effects resulting from the punishment? Do prosecutors supervise criminal records?

Les procureurs participent-ils au processus de grce, d’amnistie ou de libration des personnes notamment en cas d’effets ngatifs de la sanction ? Les procureurs contrlent-ils les casiers judiciaires ?

The Prosecution Service will, in some cases, be asked to provide an opinion whether parole should be granted. Furthermore, the Prosecutions Service is heard before pardon is granted. The Prosecution Service is also competent to make a first instance decision on whether or not execution of a prison can be postponed. Finally, the Prosecution Service is heard in some cases regarding the prisoner’s right to temporarily leave prison (family visits, education etc.).

Question 19

Are special qualifications and training required of prosecutors who carry out duties in matters of criminal and administrative detention? Please specify.

Les procureurs bnficient-ils de qualifications et formations spciales pour l’accomplissement de leurs tches en matire de dtention et de rtention des personnes? Veuillez prciser.

N/A refer to question 2.

Question 20

What acts (presentation of conclusions, attend hearings, appeal against court decisions) are prosecutors entitled to carry out during proceedings before judges with jurisdiction over the enforcement of sentences/surveillance judges (“juges de l’application des peines”), in states where such judge exists?

In states where such a judge does not exist, what acts (release on probation, subsequent alteration of the detention’s enforcement scheme, further restriction of a detainee’s rights, placement in solitary confinement, disciplinary punishment, and so on) are prosecutors entitled to carry out as regards court decisions?

Quelles sont les types d’action (prsentation de conclusions, prsence l’audience, appel contre la dcision) que le procureur peut accomplir durant la procdure devant le juge d’application des peines, dans les Etats o un tel juge existe?

Dans les Etats dans lesquels un tel juge n’existe pas, quels sont les actes que peut faire un procureur concernant la dcision judiciaire (libration avec mise l’preuve, modification postrieure du rgine d’excution de la dtention, renforcement des restrictions des droits des dtenus, placement en isolement/confinement, sanction disciplinaire, etc.) ?

No sentences/surveillance judges exist in Denmark.

The Prosecution Services does however have the competences to request a non-sentenced person to be pre-trial detained in isolation, refer to question 2. The ordinary courts would assess the request.

Matters relating to sentenced persons and the enforcements of imposed sentences are dealt with by the Danish Prison and Probation Services.

The Danish Prison and Probation Services furthermore assess and decide on matters related to the specific conditions when enforcing a sentence to be served in prison etc.

Question 21

When monitoring the enforcement of punishments, do public prosecutors interact with the ombudsman or any other organisation linked to or charged with controlling the enforcement of punishments? If so, what type of interactions are they? Could you give the names of these organisations, whether they be institutional or not, and explain briefly their roles?

Le procureur qui contrle l’excution des sanctions a-t-il des relations, le cas chant de quels types, avec le mdiateur ou d’autres organisations lies au ou charges du contrle de l’excution des sanctions? Pouvez-vous citer ces organisations, institutionnelles ou non, et expliquer brivement leur rle ?

Refer to question 2. No direct interaction is present between the Prosecution Service and the Parliamentary Ombudsman regarding inspections of prisons and prisoners conditions. The Parliamentary Ombudsman is however interacting directly with the Danish Prison and Probation Services when conducting inspections and assessing conditions at prisons and detention facilities.

Question 22

Could you give other useful information to the preparation of the draft Opinion (relevant questions to add, documents, etc)?

Pouvez-vous fournir d’autres informations que vous jugez utile la prparation du projet d’Avis (questions pertinentes voquer, documents, etc.) ?


1 Suspects held in custody/defendants, men/women, juveniles/adults, criminal prisoners/other prisoners, ill/healthy persons, accessories to criminal conspiracy, recidivists/first offenders, officials - police, military, detention facility staff - involved in criminal procedures.