Chapter

Prosecutorial Ethics

Ken Crispin Qc

in Legal Ethics and Legal Practice

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780198259459
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681950 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259459.003.0009
Prosecutorial Ethics

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Prosecutors are prone to regard themselves as champions of truth and justice, unbesmirched by the tawdry compromises and moral ambiguities of private practice and unalloyed by the need to act on the dubious instructions of those who pay the piper. Yet despite such perceptions there has been widespread and increasing disquiet in many jurisdictions. In Australia there have been a series of highly publicized cases in which people were wrongly convicted. In the United States there have been suggestions of a dramatic increase in complaints of ‘prosecutorial overreaching’. Yet at the very time when these concerns have been surfacing there has been a trend to frame laws involving penal sanctions in very wide terms relying upon prosecutorial discretion to weed out those not morally culpable. This chapter looks at the ethical duties of prosecutors, arguing that the role of the prosecutor demands an educated and finely-tuned conscience.

Keywords: prosecutors; legal ethics; legal practice; penal sanctions

Chapter.  12623 words. 

Subjects: Legal System and Practice

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