Prosecution of public office offences

A longstanding provision of the Constitution stipulates that occupants of high office (members of parliament, ministers and state secretaries) are to be tried by the Supreme Court for offences committed in the course of their duties.

A ten-judge court hears cases of this kind. In such cases the Supreme Court is the court of first and last instance. This means that no appeal, in cassation or otherwise, from the Court’s decision is possible.

The Procurator General of the Supreme Court is responsible for the prosecution of persons charged with public office offences. It should be noted that the Procurator General cannot institute criminal proceedings of this kind. Rather, they must be instituted by royal decree or by a resolution of the Lower House of parliament. This has never yet taken place.