The Prosecutor Vetting Commission is charged with evaluating the financial and ethical integrity of candidates to the Superior Council of Prosecutors (SCP) and its Boards. This is a complex and thorough process that requires the observance of procedures set by the governing law. To shed some light on the intricacies of these evaluations, here is a step-by-step explanation of the process from start to finish.

The Prosecutor Vetting Commission evaluates candidates for the SCP and its boards under Law No. 26/2022 and under the Commission’s Rules of Procedures.

The evaluation process begins when the Commission receives the lists of subjects from the SCP. Next, the Commission notifies the candidates about the initiation of the evaluation, and requests that they complete the required forms within seven days. These forms include a 5-year Declaration detailing financial and personal interests, as well as a list of close family members (“close persons”), particularly those working within the judiciary, prosecution, and public service. The candidates are also asked to complete an ethics questionnaire.

In parallel, the Commission gathers extensive information by accessing relevant government databases and by issuing additional requests, for example to banks. To clarify any doubts or inconsistencies, the Commission may request additional information from the candidate or from other persons or entities within a reasonable timeframe.

After analyzing the collected information, the Commission sets a public hearing. The candidate may refuse to attend a public hearing, in which case the Commission evaluates the candidate based on collected information.

Following the hearing and its internal deliberations, the Commission issues a decision either passing or failing the candidates. The decision is sent to the candidate and the SCP. It can be challenged by the candidate before the Supreme Court of Justice, which may decide to order a resumed evaluation.

The Prosecutor Vetting Commission is currently evaluating 24 candidates for positions as members of the SCP’s Selection and Evaluation Board and Disciplinary and Ethics Board. Candidates come from both the prosecution service and civil society. To date, the Commission has issued decisions on 8 candidates.