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South Sudan: The prosecutor’s career

Persons selected as prosecutors must be individuals of integrity and ability, with appropriate training and qualifications.[1] Accordingly, States must ensure that selection criteria embody safeguards against appointments based on partiality or prejudice, and that prosecutors have appropriate education and training.[2]

Promotion of prosecutors must be based on objective factors and decided upon in accordance with fair and impartial procedures.[3]

Prosecutors must enjoy “[r]easonable conditions of service … adequate remuneration and, where applicable, tenure, pension and age of retirement shall be set out by law or published rules or regulations”.[4] They must “at all times maintain the honour and dignity of the profession”.[5]


In South Sudan, in order to be eligible for appointment as Public Attorney or Legal Counsel (the former represent the Ministry of Justice externally), an individual must have citizenship with full capacity, hold a law degree and be of good behaviour.[6] The law specifies the experience required for appointment to each grade in the Ministry’s hierarchy.[7] Positions are filled through selection or promotion from within the Ministry of Justice, or through appointment, secondment or transfer from outside, upon the order of the President, Minister or Under Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, depending on the grade of the position.[8] Promotion is based on efficiency, also taking into account academic qualification and seniority, and regularity of attendance.[9]

The Counsel General who leads the Directorate of Public Prosecution is appointed to and may be removed from office by the President, in consultation with the Vice President, upon recommendation of the Minister.[10]

All Public Attorneys and Legal Counsel are entitled to the status, conditions of service and benefits of similar tenure judges.[11]

On their face, these Constitutional and legal provisions comply with international and regional standards on to the appointment and promotion of prosecutors. The ICJ does not presently have information on the implementation of these provisions.

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. 1. UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, ”Guideline

    Persons selected as prosecutors shall be individuals of integrity and ability, with appropriate training and qualifications.

    Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa, Adopted by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Article F(a)(1).

    States shall ensure that:

    1. Prosecutors have appropriate education and training and should be made aware of the ideals and ethical duties of their office, of the constitutional and statutory protections for the rights of the suspect and the victim, and of human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law, including the Charter

  2. 2. UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, ”Guideline

    States shall ensure that:

    (a) Selection criteria for prosecutors embody safeguards against appointments based on partiality or prejudice, excluding any discrimination against a person on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, social or ethnic origin, property, birth, economic or other status, except that it shall not be considered discriminatory to require a candidate for prosecutorial office to be a national of the country concerned;

    (b) Prosecutors have appropriate education and training and should be made aware of the ideals and ethical duties of their office, of the constitutional and statutory protections for the rights of the suspect and the victim, and of human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law.

  3. 3. UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, ”Guideline

    Promotion of prosecutors, wherever such a system exists, shall be based on objective factors, in particular professional qualifications, ability, integrity and experience, and decided upon in accordance with fair and impartial procedures.

     Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa, Adopted by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Article F(c);

    Promotion of prosecutors, wherever such a system exists, shall be based on objective factors, in particular professional qualifications, ability, integrity and experience, and decided upon in accordance with fair and impartial procedures

    International Association of Prosecutors Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors, ”Article

    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 :

    (e) to recruitment and promotion based on objective factors, and in particular professional qualifications, ability, integrity, performance and experience, and decided upon in accordance with fair and impartial procedures;

  4. 4. UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, ”Guideline

    Reasonable conditions of service of prosecutors, adequate remuneration and, where applicable, tenure, pension and age of retirement shall be set out by law or published rules or regulations.

     Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa, Adopted by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Article F(b);

    Reasonable conditions of service of prosecutors, adequate remuneration and, where applicable, tenure, housing, transport, conditions of physical and social security, pension and age of retirement and other conditions of service shall be set out by law or published rules or regulations.

    International Association of Prosecutors, Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors, ”Article

    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 :

    (c) to reasonable conditions of service and adequate remuneration, commensurate with the crucial role performed by them and not to have their salaries or other benefits arbitrarily diminished;

    (d) to reasonable and regulated tenure, pension and age of retirement subject to conditions of employment or election in particular cases; 

  5. 5. UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, ”Guideline

    Prosecutors, as essential agents of the administration of justice, shall at all times maintain the honour and dignity of their profession.

     International Association of Prosecutors, Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors, ”Article

    Prosecutors shall:

    (a) at all times maintain the honour and dignity of their profession;

  6. 6. Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act,

    (1) A person shall be eligible for appointment as a PublicAttorney or Legal Counsel if—

    (a) he or she is Sudanese with full capacity; and

    (b) he or she is a holder of a degree or higher qualification of law from a recognized university or institution of higher education.

    (2) He or she shall be of good behaviour and conduct, and should not have been convicted before any Court or board of discipline for an offence involving dishonesty or moral turpitude, even if he or she was pardoned.

    and 46(1).

    (1) A person shall be eligible for appointment as a Legal Counsel only if he or she meets each of the following—

    (a) he or she is a Sudanese citizen with full capacity;

    (b) he or she is a holder of a LLB. or similar degree or higher qualification in the field of law from a recognized university or institution of higher education; and

    (c) he or she is of good behaviour and conduct and should not have been convicted by any court or board of discipline for an offence involving dishonesty or moral turpitude even if he or she was pardoned.

  7. 7. Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act, S. 35-41.
  8. 8. Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act, S. 34.

    (1) A person shall be eligible for appointment as a Public Attorney or Legal Counsel if—

    (a) he or she is Sudanese with full capacity; and

    (b) he or she is a holder of a degree or higher qualification of law from a recognized university or institution of higher education.

    (2) He or she shall be of good behaviour and conduct, and should not have been convicted before any Court or board of discipline for an offence involving dishonesty or moral turpitude, even if he or she was pardoned.

    (3) The office of a Public Attorney or Legal Advisor shall be filled by an order issued by the Minister on the recommendation of the Under Secretary through—

    (a) selection or promotion,

    (b) appointment, secondment or transfer from outside the Ministry.

    (4) The office of Director of a Directorate, Senior Legal Counsel and First Legal Counsel shall be filled by an order issued by the President on the recommendation of the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Minister after consultation with the Under Secretary.

    (5) The office of the Second Legal Counsel shall be filled by an order issued by the Minister after consultation with the Under Secretary.

    (6) The office of all other Legal Counsels shall be filled by an order issued by the Under Secretary.

  9. 9. Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act, S. 47.

    (1) Promotions within the Ministry shall be made on the basis of the degree of efficiency of the candidates; provided that, academic qualification and seniority shall be taken into consideration.

    (2) In the evaluation of the degree of efficiency of the Legal Counsel, and the nature and the standard of performance, the regularity of his or her attendance to his or her duty and his or her administration of employees shall be taken into consideration.

  10. 10. Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act, S. 32(1).

    The Ministry shall have Counsel Generals who shall be appointed to and removed from office by the President, in consultation with the Vice President, on the recommendation of the Minister.

  11. 11. Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act, S. 30(2).

    The Under Secretary shall be of the status of a Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary of Southern Sudan, and shall be entitled to all the rights, privileges and benefits accorded that position.

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