Procedure time table

During the meeting of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Prosecutors on the 4th of May 2012, the Protocol for the Conduct of Cases of Prosecutors in Difficulty was adopted.

In the Protocol in section B is written:

“Whenever a prosecutor, prosecution agency or association of prosecutors claims to be in difficulty and requests assistance, the IAP is committed to having in place mechanisms to ensure the effective, just and timely processing of the request, and further recognizes the need to achieve an outcome which appropriately addresses the basis of the request, satisfies the objects of the IAP and promotes the rule of law.”

This document provides more details about the mechanisms for processing a request for assistance.

  1. A request will be sent to the Secretary-General of the IAP. If a request has been sent to another official of the IAP or to a member of the Executive Committee or the Senate, this official or member must send this request to the Secretary-General of the IAP as soon as possible.
  2. The Secretary-General will register this request in a separate system and will send a confirmation of receipt to the person or organisation that sent in the request within 3 days, by e-mail and letter. If necessary, the Secretary-General will also request further particulars as described in section C (4) of the Protocol to be provided as soon as possible.
  3. The Secretary-General will inform the President of the IAP within 3 days after receipt of the request.
  4. The President and the Secretary-General will make an assessment of the merits of the request within 10 days after the receipt of the request at the Secretariat or within 10 days after completion of any reporting template requested from the complainant, whichever is the later.
  5. If the case is considered unsuitable for further processing by the IAP in accordance with the Protocol, the Executive Committee should be advised and invited to endorse the conclusion. Within 14 days after the receipt of the request the Secretary-General will inform the petitioner about the decision.
  6. If the case is straightforward and the facts are clear and no more than a statement of principle and/or a letter of support is required, the President, having notified the Executive Committee, will issue such a document to the relevant authority within 14 days after receipt of the request.
  7. If the matter is urgent, but the final response is contingent upon the advice of the Standing Committee, the President, as an interim measure, will, having notified the Executive Committee, issue a statement of principle to the relevant authority within 14 days after the receipt of the request, indicating that a request for assistance has been received, noting that there may have been a breach of the IAP-Standards (and/or other legal instrument), advising that the matter is subject to investigation, and seeking the cooperation of the addressee with the inquiry.
  8. If the case needs further investigation (is not “straightforward”), the President will send the documents to the Standing Committee within 14 days after the receipt of the request. The Standing Committee is responsible to the President for investigating requests, for assistance-requests referred to it, for complying with timeframes, for deciding what responses will be most effective, for identifying possible solutions, for drafting statements of principle and/or letters of support, for identifying the authorities in the jurisdiction to whom representations should be made, for drafting public statements/press releases, and for advising generally on strategy.
  9. The final report of the Standing Committee is to be sent to the President within 4 weeks after the Standing Committee has received the assistance request from the President.
  10. If the President accepts the advice of the Standing Committee, he will seek the endorsement of the Executive Committee within 3 days. In this case the Executive Committee will inform the President about its view within 1 week.
  11. After the approval of the Executive Committee the President will inform the petitioner and the relevant authorities about the outcome.
  12. If the Standing Committee needs more time for investigation, it will inform the President about this situation within 4 weeks after the receipt of the assistance-request and, if possible, will give the President an indication how much more time is needed. The President will inform the petitioner about the situation within 3 days after receiving the message from the Standing Committee.
  13. If more time is needed for the investigation the President will keep the petitioner informed about developments, but at least once a month he will send the petitioner a message about the state of the investigation.
  14. If the Standing Committee decides on sending an IAP fact-finder to a jurisdiction during an investigation, the President will, if appropriate, notify the local authorities within 3 days after he has been informed by the Standing Committee about its decision. The President will inform the local authorities about the nature of the mission, he will explain that the fact-finder will be acting as a special representative of the IAP and he will invite the authorities to extend every courtesy and support to the visitor.
  15. If the investigation is completed the Standing Committee will send the final report to the President. Then the procedure described under 11. and 12. above will be followed.
  16. The way that the President can reply on the request for assistance is described in the Protocol in sections D., E. and F.
  17. The Secretariat of the IAP will register all the requests and documentation and correspondence and will collect all the details of all cases and will maintain a library to facilitate the processing of future cases.