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Part IV Independent Constitutional Institutions, 16 Separation of Powers and the Position of the Public Prosecutor in Francophone Africa

Horace Adjolohoun, Charles M. Fombad

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 public prosecutors in Francophone Africa. Most of Francophone Africa inherited and has maintained the French civil law tradition which confers on the public prosecutor constitutional and institutional status of dependence on, and limited independence from, the executive and judiciary. It is a delicate balance which tilted more in favour of dependence than independence before the 1990s, during the long era of dictatorship that followed independence. The chapter discusses the historical origins of the public prosecutor in France and its adoption in Francophone Africa; the functions of the public prosecutor and his status vis-à-vis the other branches of government. It points out that the relationship of dependence on the executive and judiciary has largely remained unchanged and poses challenges not only to the good administration of justice but also the entrenchment of a culture of constitutional democracy. A number of reforms are suggested.

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