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NCJ Number: 150076 Find in a Library
Title: Toward a Redefinition of Police-Justice Relations? The Weight of History
Journal: Cahiers de la Securite Interieure  Issue:14  Dated:(August-October 1993)  Pages:85-96
Author(s): R Levy
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 12
Type: Presentation
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: This historical account traces the relationship between the police and the judicial branch in France, and probes the growing power of the public prosecutor.
Abstract: A review of the past 150 years of criminal justice reveals three major shifts in power: (1) the growing role of the public prosecutor in initiating criminal procedures (95 percent of all cases in 1980 as opposed to 45 percent in 1831), (2) the growing number of cases that were dismissed, and (3) the decrease in the use of an examining magistrate. The growing power of the public prosecutor is also accompanied by a decreased use of the French Criminal Investigation Department whose historical task was to identify, arrest, and hand over criminals to the judicial system. This role has now been largely taken over by the police: While the police dealt with only about 50 percent of the cases from 1831 to 1835, it handled already 95 percent of the prosecutor's cases from 1928 to 1930. Thus, the public prosecutor and the police have extended their activities at the expense of the examining magistrate and the Criminal Investigation Department. While similar developments have been observed in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, legislative initiatives to redress this imbalance have been unsuccessful. The article suggests that successful reforms cannot be imposed from the top down but require the participation and consent of involved agents at all levels.
Main Term(s): Foreign police
Index Term(s): Interagency cooperation; Investigative powers; Police prosecutor relations; Prosecution
Note: Paper presented at International Conference for Comparative Police Systems and Supports, Paris, December 1- 4, 1992
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