15/11/2023 - The OECD Working Group on Bribery urges Czechia to adopt legislation to ensure the protection of prosecutorial independence from improper political influence.
The Working Group has been monitoring this issue since 2013, as it affects the country’s ability to meet its obligations under Article 5 of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The bill introduced by the Czech government in June 2023 to amend the law on the Public Prosecution Service could, if adopted, introduce welcome reforms to the Prosecution Service as a whole. However, it would not address the Working Group’s main concern regarding prosecutorial independence. The dismissal of the Prosecutor General would remain at the discretion of the Minister of Justice and the government, without tangible grounds for dismissal or meaningful safeguards.
In May 2021, the Working Group expressed serious concerns about the resignation of Czechia’s Prosecutor General following alleged pressure from the Ministry of Justice. Allegations of possible political interference are particularly concerning given that Czechia has failed to adopt reforms to safeguard investigative and prosecutorial independence.
The Working Group urges Czechia to seize this opportunity to introduce meaningful safeguards to protect prosecutorial independence, as the bill to amend the law on the Public Prosecution Service undergoes the legislative process and is expected to take effect in July 2024. Such action would allow Czechia to meet its obligations under Article 5 of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact the OECD's Media Relations Division on (33) 1 45 24 97 00 or [email protected]. For more information on the implementation of the Anti-Bribery Convention in the Czech Republic and the OECD’s work to fight corruption, please visit www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/czechrepublic-oecdanti-briberyconvention.htm and www.oecd.org/corruption-integrity/.