Friday, 14 October 2016
STANDARD 3.1 PROSECUTOR’S ROLE IN ADDRESSING SUSPECTED LAW ENFORCEMENT MISCONDUCT (a) If the prosecutor has reason to suspect misconduct or unauthorized illegal activity at any level of the prosecutor’s office or in any agency or department engaged in a criminal investigation, the prosecutor should promptly report the suspicion and the reason for it to appropriate supervisory personnel in the prosecutor’s office who have authority to address the problem, or to the appropriate inspector general’s office, or similar agency, if reporting within the prosecutor’s own office is problematic. Reporting may also be required to comply with requirements of the applicable rules of professional conduct, the Model Rules and the law of the jurisdiction. (b) If the prosecutor has reason to believe that a criminal investigation or prosecution is, or is likely to be, adversely affected by incompetence, lack of skilled personnel or inadequate resources in the prosecutor’s office or in any other relevant agency or department, the prosecutor should promptly report that belief and the reason for it to supervisory personnel in the prosecutor’s office. (c) A supervisory prosecutor who receives an allegation of misconduct, unauthorized illegal conduct, or who receives an allegation of incompetence, inadequate resources, or lack of skilled personnel that is, or is likely to, adversely affect a criminal investigation, should undertake a prompt and objective review of the facts and circumstances or refer the matter to an appropriate agency or component responsible for addressing such allegations. When practicable, the line prosecutor making any such allegations should not be involved in subsequent investigation(s) relating to the allegation(s). (d) If the prosecutor’s office concludes that there is a reasonable belief that personnel in any agency or department have engaged in unauthorized illegal conduct, the prosecutor’s office should initiate a criminal investigation into the conduct or seek the initiation of such an investigation by an appropriate outside agency or office. (e) If the prosecutor’s office concludes that there was not unauthorized illegal conduct, but concludes that there was incompetence or non-criminal misconduct, the prosecutor’s office should take appropriate action to notify the relevant agency or department, and if within the prosecutor’s own office, to impose sanctions for the conduct. (f) Decisions on how to respond to allegations of unauthorized illegal conduct, misconduct, or significant incompetence should generally be made without regard to adverse consequences on pending cases or investigations.