The prosecutors in Finland are organised on two tiers. The prosecution service consists of the Office of the Prosecutor-General in Helsinki and of 13 local prosecution offices. Within the authority of the local prosecution offices there are also 25 service bureaus which are functioning as subsidiary offices.
The Prosecutor-General is the supreme prosecutor and the head of the prosecution service. The Prosecutor-General directs and develops prosecutorial activity by issuing general instructions and guidelines to the prosecutors. He also appoints local prosecutors. The Prosecutor-General may take over a case from a subordinate prosecutor, but he cannot order a subordinate prosecutor to decide the case in any given manner. He can also self decide on the bringing of charges and designate a prosecutor to pursue the case in the courts.
The Deputy Prosecutor-General decides the matters in his competence on the same authority as the Prosecutor-General. He also deputises for the Prosecutor-General where necessary.
For regular prosecutorial tasks, the Office has thirteen State Prosecutors, whose jurisdiction covers the entire country.
Most criminal matters (some 80,000 cases annually) are dealt with by the local prosecution units. The Office of the Prosecutor-General deals mainly with criminal cases with wider significance to society as a whole — a few dozen every year- in addition to the administrative tasks referred to above.
Prosecutors front page
Updated on 18 January 2012