Ethics can be simply defined as the moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour in the conduct of an activity.
Prosecutors have an obligation to accept responsibility for their actions and decisions. This includes the duty to give full account of their actions and decisions. It also extends to the duty to explain their actions and decisions. They are also answerable to the public for their actions and decisions.
Prosecutors must be competent in carrying out their functions. They must have the requisite knowledge and skill to conduct their cases efficiently. They must also conduct cases according to the standards required by the law and the professional requirements of their jurisdictions.
Being Advocates for the Public, Prosecutors come across a lot of personal information. This information relates to witnesses, victims, accused persons and investigators. All Prosecutors have a duty towards the public not to use or disclose confidential information. They cannot use this information for any purpose unconnected with the need to meet the ends of justice.
Prosecutors must treat all persons they deal with justly and with impartiality. They should not have any favouritism, bias or discrimination. They must be consistent in decision making. Prosecutors should avoid situations which might give rise to the suspicion or appearance of prejudice or partiality.
Prosecutors must be truthful and straightforward in dealing with members of the public, the courts and other stakeholders. They should be upright in the performance of their duties and distance themselves from falsehoods, deception, corruption, fraud and treachery. They must cultivate trust among all the people and institutions they deal with or come into contact with.
Prosecutors must adhere to moral and ethical standards in the performance of their duties. Their conduct must be above reproach at all times. They must perform their duties free of any external influences and inducements. They must also not fall prey to undue pressures, threats or interference, whether direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.
Prosecutors must uphold the qualities, skills, competence and behaviours required by their profession. They must at all times conduct themselves professionally. Prosecutors must also adhere with the law and the rules of ethics of their profession and maintain professional honour and dignity. They should work independently and make independent decisions.
Respect is one of the rules of ethics in any professional environment. Prosecutors must show respect to all the persons they deal with and also cultivate respect for themselves, their profession and the legal system.
Prosecutors should carry out their duties and make decisions openly. They should voluntary share information with persons who have a right to that information and should ensure that the information they give to the public is clear and accurate. They should never exaggerate or distort information given to the public.