European Public Prosecutor: the beginnings of the evolution of French law towards an accusatory system?

Geoffroy Goubin’s interview published on the Lettre des Juristes d’Affaires (LJA) in the June 14 issue.

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office was set up on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, a few months behind the original launch schedule of late 2020. Presented as “the sharpest weapon to defend the rule of law,” by Laura Kövesi who took the head of this supranational institution, the Office of the European Public Prosecutor’s mission is to fight against fraud against European Union funds. Our partner Geoffroy Goubin presents its functioning.

– With the creation of this new European institution, the cooperation between the Deputy European Public Prosecutors will be direct. The budget will also be supported at the European level. Investigations will therefore be more fluid and efficient.

– The scope of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office is partly the same as that of the French PNF, with the specificity that it only deals with offenses against the interests of the European Union. But the comparison stops here. The European Public Prosecutor is in fact much more than a supra-national financial prosecutor. He is independent of the national authorities, and his powers have been extended since he can “transfer” to the role of investigating judge.

– The main challenge for prosecuted persons and their lawyers will be to know how to exercise the rights of the defense faced to this “augmented prosecutor”.

– With the creation of this “augmented prosecutor”, we are sliding towards an accusatory system, inspired by Anglo-Saxon systems. Should we see in this the beginnings of an evolution of French law and the end of the investigating judge?

To read the entire interview, download here the June 14 edition of the LJA.