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Part IV Independent Constitutional Institutions, 15 The Public Prosecutor and the Rule of Law in Anglophone Africa

Jeffrey Jowell

From: Separation of Powers in African Constitutionalism

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 January 2021

This chapter examines the role of the public prosecutor in Anglophone Africa, in the light of two constitutional principles: the separation of powers and the rule of law. It considers the extent to which the prosecutor’s role, and his individual decisions, ought to be separated from ‘policy’ or ‘party-political’, or otherwise ‘partisan’ considerations. How ‘objective’ should (or can) he be? The chapter also considers to what extent the prosecutor’s constitutional role and institutional functions require him to be insulated from judicial review. In the context of government lawyers acting as guardians of the rule of law, the chapter looks at the extent of the prosecutor’s discretion to enforce and not to enforce the law. Finally, it asks whether there may be ways to structure his discretion in the interest of the rule of law.

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