The Council of Europe's Consultative Council of European Prosecutors adopted, during its last plenary meeting, its Opinion No. 13 entitled "Independence, accountability and ethics of prosecutors".
In this new Opinion, prepared by its Working Group in 2018, the CCPE wished to refer to possible interferences in the independence of prosecutors, and to the pressure exerted on them, particularly by the political authorities, as recently observed in some European judicial systems. This way, by deepening the issues related to independence, accountability and ethics, the CCPE wanted to raise awareness among prosecutors and competent authorities on relevant developments and reforms in these areas. It thus recalls that a prosecutor is "independent" if he or she is free from any unlawful interference in the exercise of his or her duty to ensure respect for and application of law and the principle of the rule of law, and if he or she is not subjected to any political pressure or other unlawful influence of any kind in this context. Being “accountable” means that he or she must not act arbitrarily, he or she must base his or her decisions on the law, that must justify its decisions on the basis of the principle of legality or opportunity, and that he or she must duly inform the relevant stakeholders. Finally, the CCPE recalls that respect for ethical rules is a fundamental duty that should guide the activities of prosecutors. The opinion just adopted sets out a number of specific recommendations on these aspects.