PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA

PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA

The constitutional position of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of North Macedonia as well as its position in the system of state power is established by the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” no. 52/1991) and the Amendment XXIV, XXX to the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, adopted on 7th of December 2005 (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” No. 107/2005), as well as by the Law on the Public Prosecutor’s Office (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” 80/92, 19/93, 9/94 and 9/96, 38 / 04, 150/07)

Pursuant to Article 106 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, the Public Prosecutor’s Office is defined as a unique and independent state authority prosecuting perpetrators of criminal acts and other crimes as well as performing other activities as stipulated by law. The Public Prosecutor’s Office exercises its functions on the basis and within the Constitution and the Law. The same article regulates the appointment of the Public Prosecutor for a term of six years and his/her dismissal by the Assembly.

The other Constitution provision (Article 107) refers to the enjoyment of immunity by the Public Prosecutor (decided by the Assembly) and the incompatibility of the function of the Public Prosecutor with exercising another public office and profession as well as with any political party membership. This article was deleted by Amendment XXX, adopted in 2005.

 

The 1992 Law on the Public Prosecutor’s Office regulated the establishment of public prosecutor’s offices, their organization and competences, the areas in which they operated, and the headquarters of the public prosecutor’s offices, as well as the conditions and the procedure for appointment (for a period of six years with a possibility of reappointment) and dismissal of public prosecutors and their deputies by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, upon a proposal of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia after obtaining the opinion of the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Macedonia. According to the law, the function of the Public Prosecutor and Deputy Public Prosecutor was incompatible with the function of Member of Parliament, a Counsellor, as well as with functions exercised in the organs of the Republic, the municipalities and the City of Skopje, with exercising a political function as well as with any political party or political association membership.

According to the 2004 Law on the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Public Prosecutor’s Office is organized according to the principles of hierarchy and subordination as a Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Macedonia, Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office and Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Macedonia is established for the whole territory of the Republic of Macedonia and it acts before the Supreme Court. The three Higher Public Prosecutor’s Offices in Bitola, Skopje and Shtip act before the courts of appeal, while 22 Basic Public Prosecutor’s Offices act before one or more basic courts. According to the provisions of the Law, a Department for Prosecution of Perpetrators of Criminal Acts in the Field of Organized Crime and Corruption shall be established in the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Macedonia.

This Law envisages the establishment of a Council of Public Prosecutors taking care of the implementation of the procedure for appointing, dismissing and determining liability with regard to public prosecutors and deputy public prosecutors.

 

The Amendment XXX to the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia was adopted in 2005. This Amendment prescribes a qualitatively new way of regulating the question of public prosecutors by excluding deputy public prosecutors from the public prosecution structure. The definition of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and its function remained the same.

The position of the Public Prosecutor’s Office is additionally defined in direction that it performs its functions in accordance with the Constitution, laws and ratified international agreements, as well as that the office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office shall be exercised by the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Macedonia who is appointed for a term of six years (with the right to be reappointed) and dismissed by the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia,  and that public prosecutors shall be elected without limitation on their term of office by the Council of Public Prosecutors, whilst respecting a proper and equitable representation of the citizens belonging to all communities.

This amends the previous decision, according to which the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia was in charge of appointing and dismissing public prosecutors upon a proposal of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

The Amendment prescribes that the jurisdiction, establishment, abolition, organization and the functioning of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the grounds and procedure for termination of office and dismissal of the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of North Macedonia and public prosecutors, shall be regulated by a law adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of members of parliament. The amendment also points out to the incompatibility of the position of the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of North Macedonia and the position of a public prosecutor with any political party membership or any performance of other public functions and professions established by law, while at the same time prohibiting political organization and political acting within the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The Law on the Public Prosecutor’s Office (2007) is a result of the country’s efforts to comply with the Amendments, the obligation to harmonize our legislation and the commitment to integrate into the Euro-Atlantic structures. The law enabled the process of: promoting and strengthening the position of the public prosecutor in the criminal justice system; strengthening the independence of the holders of office and upgrading the position in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia; incorporating the Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers on the role of the public prosecutor in the criminal justice system; improving the status of prosecutors and their position in the judicial system as well as enhancing the capacity of the public prosecutor’s office in dealing with organized crime and corruption.

As to the organization of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the existing organizational structure is maintained. It is new that after the organization of the judiciary, in other words after the establishment of the Court of Appeal in Gostivar, besides the three Higher Public Prosecutor’s Offices (Bitola, Skopje and Shtip), a Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office was established in Gostivar, as well as a special Public Prosecutor’s Office for handling cases related to organized crime and corruption that were previously under the competence of the Department for Prosecution of Perpetrators of Criminal Acts in the Field of Organized Crime and Corruption within the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of North Macedonia.

 

The new 2010 Law on Criminal Procedure has strengthened the role of the public prosecutor in the fight against perpetrators of crimes that are prosecuted ex officio – the public prosecutor is given a leading role in the investigative procedure.