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Honduras: Integrity and accountability of the prosecutorial services

Prosecutors at all levels, like other public officials, must accountable when they have been involved in violations of human rights or other breaches of professional standards, including in proceedings based on complaints brought by individuals.[1] 

Disciplinary offences must be defined in law or lawful regulations, and complaints alleging misconduct must be processed expeditiously and fairly in the context of fair procedures before an independent and impartial body. A prosecutor who has allegedly breached established standards of professional conduct must be afforded a fair hearing and the decision must be based on established standards of professional conduct, and subject to independent review.[2]


In accordance with the law of Honduras, all members of the Office of the Prosecutor-General, including the Prosecutor-General, are subject to the professional duties set out in the Code of the Ethical Conduct for Public Servants.[3] This Code, while not setting out the range of punishments for specific infractions, prescribes that sanctions are to be determined in accordance to the gravity of the infraction.

The Prosecutor-General is responsible for the discipline of prosecutors under his/her authority.[4]


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. 1. UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Report to the Human Rights Council, UN Doc. A/HRC/20/19 (7 June 2012), para. 82-87, and 120-123.
  2. 2. UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, [expand title=”Guideline 21-22;”]

    21. Disciplinary offences of prosecutors shall be based on law or lawful regulations. Complaints against prosecutors which allege that they acted in a manner clearly out of the range of professional standards shall be processed expeditiously and fairly under appropriate procedures. Prosecutors shall have the right to a fair hearing. The decision shall be subject to independent review.

    22. Disciplinary proceedings against prosecutors shall guarantee an objective evaluation and decision. They shall be determined in accordance with the law, the code of professional conduct and other established standards and ethics and in the light of the present Guidelines.

    [/expand] International Association of Prosecutors, Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors, [expand title=”Article 6(f)-(g).”]

    In order to ensure that prosecutors are able to carry out their professional responsibilities independently and in accordance with these standards, prosecutors should be protected against arbitrary action by governments. In general they should be entitled: … (f) to expeditious and fair hearings, based on law or legal regulations, where disciplinary steps are necessitated by complaints alleging action outside the range of proper professional standards; (g) to objective evaluation and decisions in disciplinary hearings;

  3. 3. Code of the Ethical Conduct for the Public Servants, Decree No. 36-2007, 31 May 2007, Article 3.
  4. 4. Law of the Office of the Prosecutor General, Article 24(18).
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