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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?

Answer from Norway:
In Norway the Prosecution Service is involved in matters of deprivation of liberty only where this is related to an on going criminal case. The Prosecution Service has no role concerning prison matters when a person is serving a sentence in prison.

The Prosecution Service in Norway is divided in three levels:

1) Police prosecutors are working in the police districts together with police officers. They are involved in investigation of all types of crimes, and have the competence to decide indictment or to drop the case concerning less serious crimes.
2) Regional public prosecutors have the competence to decide indictment or to drop the case in more serious criminal cases in their region.
3) The Director of Public Prosecutions has the competence to decide indictment or to drop the case in the most serious criminal cases all over the country.

It is mainly the police prosecutors who are involved in deprivation of liberty, particularly during investigation.

An arrest order is given by the court or by the police prosecutor if there is no time to go to court. While the person is in police custody the police prosecutor has the responsibility to ensure that the deprivation is legal. (The prosecutor is not involved if a person is being arrested only because he is too drunk or can not take care of him self, or if a person is being detained for maximum 4 hours to check his identity etc. In these cases the police officers have the competence to decide to deprive a person his liberty.)

The police prosecutor has to bring the arrested person to court within the third day after his arrest if the prosecutor wants to keep the person arrested for a longer period. When the court has given a remand order, the police prosecutor has to ensure that the person is being transferred from the police arrest to a prison.

If the court has decided that the suspect shall be in solitary confinement or without any visit during the period of custody, the police prosecutor has to consider if such special restrictions can be discharged if the investigation shows that there is no need for the restrictions any longer.

When a person has been convicted and is serving his sentence in prison the prosecutors – as mentioned above – has no responsibility for the prisoner and his conditions. At this stage the Norwegian Correctional Services has the responsibility.

The public prosecutors in the region do from time to time control the use of the use of custody on remand and the use of police cells.

The Director of General Prosecutions has given guidelines to the police prosecutors and the public prosecutors concerning custody on remand and the use of police cells.

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

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?

Answer from Norway:
The Norwegian prosecutors have no special means of action as regards prisons except starting investigation if there is reason to believe that there has been committed a criminal offence by the prison staff or by prisoners.

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 ?

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?

Answer from Norway:
Cf. the answer to question 2.

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 ?

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?

Answer from Norway:
In Norway there are no specific mechanisms concerning the prosecutors’ role in protecting human rights compared to other mechanisms of legal protection. However, the Human Rights Act states in section 3 that “the provisions of the conventions and protocols mentioned in section 2 [among others ECHR and ICCPR] shall take precedence over any other legislative provisions that conflict with them”.

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 ?

Question 6

What could be the improvements to this system of protection?

Answer from Norway:
Cf. the answers to question 2 and 5. Improvements of the system of protection are difficult to draft. Present problems concerning deprivation of liberty seem rather to be lack of adequate pre trial detention facilities than insufficient legal mechanisms for human rights protection.

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

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?

Answer from Norway:
The Prosecution Service in Norway does not as such have jurisdiction to control enforcement of prison sentences or pre-trail detention in prisons. The Norwegian Correctional Services has a supervisory board that controls the prisons, which might have representatives from the prosecution service although this is not compulsory.

The use of police arrest is controlled by the Chief of Police in each police district, and also by a supervisory board consisting of persons from the Police Directorate and a regional public prosecutor.

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?

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?

Answer from Norway:
No, but the Norwegian Correctional Services has a supervisory board who meets prisoners and controls the prisons.

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?

Answer from Norway:
No, not in the prisons. But the Norwegian Correctional Services has a supervisory board that controls the prisons.

The supervisory board, including a public prosecutor, that controls the use of police arrest, visits the local police arrests as often as it sees fit. The Chief of police in each police district report once a year on the use of police arrest in the district.

The Director of Public Prosecutions can give guidelines that might affect the relevant budget in the police.

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?

Answer from Norway:
The prosecution service can order the release of a person in custody, or that restrictions shall no longer apply, cf. also the answer to question 2. This competence of course implies that if such instructions are not followed, they can be repeated, and the case in question could be directed to a higher level within the Correctional Services. In the unlikely event of negligence to comply with direct instructions, the prosecutor could initiate criminal prosecution. Also, an administrative complaint could be filed.

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  ?

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?

Answer from Norway:
See the answer to question 9.

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 ?

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?

Answer from Norway:
Except controlling the police arrest the prosecutors have no powers to take action in the institutions of 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?

Question 13

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

Answer from Norway:
This is not an issue in Norway, cf. the answers to question 2 and 7.

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

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?

Answer from Norway:
In Norway we have a special unit in the police who only works with complaints concerning crimes committed by police officers during duty. If the complaint is concerning a police officers treatment of an arrested person in police arrest this special unit will handle the case.

If the complaint concerns the prison officers’ treatment of a prisoner in prison, then the local police will handle the case.

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 ?

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?

Answer from Norway:
If a person dies while in a police arrest the special unit who investigates crimes committed by the police, is obliged to investigate the case.

If a person dies while the person is in a prison it depends on the circumstances whether the police will investigate the case. If the death is suspicious the police will investigate it.

The prosecutors are formally in charge of all police investigations, and act as an independent judicial authority for all practical purposes (formally the King in Counsel has the right in all cases to instruct the Director of Public Prosecutions – that can instruct lower levels in the prosecutions service in all matters – although this competence is never used).

In minor cases the prosecutors are seldom involved before the investigators consider that the investigation is complete. In an investigation of a death in prison the prosecutor will normally give orders to the police concerning the investigation and what the police must do.

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 ?

Question 16

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

Answer from Norway:

No, see the answer to question 2.

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 ?

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?

Answer from Norway:
See the answers to question 2 and 15.

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?

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?

Answer from Norway:

Prosecutors are involved in granting a persons pardon by giving their opinion to the Department of Justice, but they do not have any decisive power.

Norwegian Prosecutors are not involved in releases of prisoners, except where the prisoner has been sentenced to an indeterminate sentence. Then the public prosecutors decide whether they want to ask the court for an extension when the minimum time is done.

The Norwegian Prosecutors do not 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 ?

Question 19

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

Answer from Norway:
There is no special qualifications or training for prosecutors who carry out duties in matters of detention.

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.

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?

Answer from Norway:
Such judges do not exist in Norway.

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?

Answer from Norway:
Norwegian prosecutors have no right to decide in such matters while the person is in prison. While the suspect is in custody the prosecutors can decide to release the suspect, or to stop restrictions like isolation or limited visits.

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.) ?

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?

Answer from Norway:
Not relevant.

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 ?

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.