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The role of the Cyprus attorney general's office in prosecutions: Rhetoric, ideology and practice.

Kyprianou, Despina (2006) The role of the Cyprus attorney general's office in prosecutions: Rhetoric, ideology and practice. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis is an exploratory study which attempts to shed light on the rhetoric, ideology and practice concerning the role of the Cyprus Attorney General's Office in prosecutions, and aims to enhance understanding of its functions. It is mainly based on empirical data gathered during a five-month period in the Office, involving observation, semi-structured interviews with Law Officers and examination of criminal files. The findings are supplemented by an examination of the internal circulars, press releases and documents of the four Attorney Generals who have served since the establishment of the Cyprus Republic; and by interviews carried out with three of those four office-holders. The Constitution, while recognising the right to private prosecutions, entrusts the Attorney General with the overall responsibility for all prosecutions and with broad powers in the execution of his functions. However, the statutory legislation has not determined the exact parameters of his broad role and has afforded great latitude to the post-holder in the specification and use of his powers. The findings of this research indicate that the Attorney General serves as the head of the prosecution system and exercises control over all prosecutions in the jurisdiction, although he is closely dealing with only the most serious cases, and those regarded as exceptional, complex, or in need of particular attention. Although his Office does not have an immediate investigatory role, its broad powers regarding investigations provide an obstacle to the absolute control of the investigative stage by the police. The Attorney General determines and formulates the prosecution policy of his Office, and also the overall prosecution policy in the jurisdiction. Furthermore, he provides a central and relatively tight control of all diversionary decisions. One of the most crucial functions that the Law Office appears to perform is that it serves as forum of appeal where all prosecutorial actions (or inaction) by other prosecuting agencies can be reviewed: the public require the Law Office's intervention in cases that do not usually belong to its workload, when they judge that they are not being handled properly by the police; they ask for its intervention when investigations are not carried out properly; and they apply for a review or overturn of police prosecutorial decisions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Law
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Law

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