Article: article from journal or magazin.
The prosecution service function within the spanish criminal justice system
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research
The Spanish judicial system is independent and headed by the Supreme Court. Spain has a civil law system. The criminal procedure is governed by the legality principle--by opposition to the opportunity or expediency principle--which implies that prosecution must take place in all cases in which sufficient evidence exists of guilt. Traditionally, the role of the PPS in Spain has been very limited during the investigative stage of the process. That stage is under the responsibility of the Examining Magistrate (EM). Since the end of the 1980s, a series of modifications has been introduced in order to extend the functions of the PPS. In 1988, the PPS received extended competences which allow them to receive reports of offenses. Upon knowing of an offense (reported or known to have been committed), the PPS can initiate the criminal proceeding. The PPS is also allowed to lead a sort of plea bargain under a series of restrictive conditions and only for some offenses. At the same time, the PPS received extended competences in the juvenile justice criminal proceeding in 2000. With all this said, the role of the PPS has not changed radically and, during the investigative stage of the process, their main role remains the presentation of the accusation, playing a more active role during the trial stage of the proceeding. In this article the national criminal justice system of Spain is described. Special attention is paid to the function of the PPS within this framework and its relationship to police and courts. The article refers to legal provisions and the factual handling of criminal cases.
Comparative analysis, Criminal investigation, Criminal justice sys effectiveness, Criminology, Europe, Foreign criminal justice systems, Police role in crim investigations, Prosecution, Prosecutorial discretion, Prosecutorial diversion, Spain
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