About the State Prosecutor’s Office
The Constitution and the State Prosecutor’s Office Act (ZDT-1) define a status and role of the State Prosecutor’s Office within the system of powers in the Republic of Slovenia. Pursuant to the Constitution, state prosecutors file and present criminal charges and have other powers provided by law. The State Prosecutor’s Office Act stipulates that State Prosecutor’s Offices are independent state bodies within the system of justice.
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia has adopted a decision regarding the status of the State Prosecutor’s Office. The Constitutional Court stated that the State Prosecutor’s Office is a system of independent state bodies, within which state prosecutors perform their function of filing and presenting criminal charges, pursuant to the provision of Article 135 of the Constitution, as a special function of state power and carry out other tasks according to law. According to the Constitutional Court, the State Prosecutor’s Office is a part of the executive branch of powers regarding the constitutional content of the state prosecutorial function, within which the prosecution of perpetrators of criminal offences is performed by enforcing criminal legislation on behalf of the State and in the public interest as repressive activities of the State. According to the first paragraph of Article 135 of the Constitution, the principle of functional independence of state prosecutors is determined regarding performing the state prosecutorial function. That implies the independence of the individual state prosecution offices. State prosecutors have guaranteed independence in carrying out their function in concrete cases as the State Prosecutor’s Office is not such a part of the executive power that may in concrete cases be guided in terms of political or expert instructions by the Government or any ministry.
The independence of state prosecutors shall be guaranteed by the law regulating the state prosecutorial service and the prosecutorial function.
The Office of the State Prosecutor General performs state prosecutorial functions before the Supreme Court and implements coordinating, supervisory and training tasks and duties for District State Prosecutor’s Offices and the Specialised State Prosecutor’s Office.
Eleven District State Prosecutor’s Offices performs first-instance tasks. District and local prosecutors and some higher prosecutors are assigned to District State Prosecutor’s Offices. The territories of operation of District State Prosecutor’s Offices are the same as the territories covered by the eleven district courts.
State prosecutors from these District State Prosecutor’s Offices also appear before local courts in their area. Some District State Prosecutor’s Offices have external departments as organisational units.
Departments for the coordination and assigning of matters considered before the higher courts (appeals departments) are organised at the Specialised State Prosecutor’s Office and at District State Prosecutor’s Offices at the head offices of higher courts (in Koper, Ljubljana, Celje and Maribor).
The most serious criminal offences, whose prosecution calls for special organisation and qualifications of state prosecutors and the highest level of performance, are dealt with by the Specialised State Prosecutor’s Office. The Department for the Investigation and Prosecution of Officials with Special Authorisations (the Specialised Department) operates as an independent internal organisational unit with a special status within the Specialised State Prosecutor’s Office.
In Slovenia we have four ranks of state prosecutors: local state prosecutors, district state prosecutors, higher state prosecutors and supreme state prosecutors.
State prosecutors that hold the post of at least local state prosecutor appear before local courts. State prosecutors that hold the post of at least district state prosecutor may appear before district courts, as well as local state prosecutors, but only within the authorisations specifically determined by the head of a State Prosecutor’s Office for certain categories of matters, for a particular matter, for certain categories of procedural acts or for a particular procedural act.
State prosecutors that hold the post of at least higher state prosecutor may appear before higher courts and only supreme state prosecutors may appear before the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia.
The term of office of the position of state prosecutor is permanent.