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International Association of Prosecutors

The International Association of Prosecutors [IAP] is a world wide association of Prosecutors and has been in existence now for over 15 years. It is a non- governmental, non-political organisation and was established as a response to the rapid growth in transnational crime in June 1995 at the United Nations offices in Vienna.


The IAP Vision


 The IAP is an International Community of Prosecutors committed to setting and raising standards of professional conduct and ethics for Prosecutors worldwide; promoting the rule of law, fairness, impartiality and respect for human rights and improving international co-operation to combat crime. Its mission is to be a world authority for Prosecutors in the conduct of criminal prosecutions and associated matters and to operate as an organisation of international repute and referral.


The IAP numbers over 150 organisational members and over 1,700 individual members from every region in the world and holds special consultative status with The UN Social & Economic Council. It works in cooperation with many regional and international organisations such as UNODC [United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime], OSCE [Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe], The Council of Europe, IBA [International Bar Association], The American Bar Association [ABA], UNDP [United Nations Development Programme], the Commonwealth Secretariat, ILAC[The International Legal Assistance Consortium] and ISRCL[International Society for the reform of Criminal Law ], plus many others.


The Executive Committee of the Association is drawn from all regions of the world and elects a President and Vice Presidents. It also appoints two officials, the Secretary General who is responsible for the day to day administration of the Association and a General Counsel who is responsible for the association’s work programme. A communication manager takes responsibility for the website and a number of sister websites in languages other than English which are under development. A Russian website has been launched and the IAP now has a French language counterpart-the Association Internationale des Procureurs et Poursuivants Francophones [AIPPF].


Crime is no longer just a domestic concern. Increasingly crime and criminals are taking on global dimensions; exploiting jurisdictional differences and evading border controls. Cooperation between Prosecutors as well as Investigators can be instrumental in bringing perpetrators to justice. This is one of the main objectives of the association; others include the setting of standards, promoting good practice and upholding Human Rights and the Rule of Law.


One of the most important IAP Objects is to ".. promote and enhance those standards and principles which are generally recognised internationally as necessary for the proper and independent prosecution of offences."


‘The Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors’ were developed within the IAP and were approved by the IAP in 1999. The IAP standards serve as an international benchmark for the conduct of individual prosecutors and of prosecution services, they complement but expand the UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors 1990 [The Havana Guidelines] which were the first international attempt to define the role of the public prosecutor. The UN Guidelines are, however, addressed to States and are concerned with State action and do not address the relationship between the prosecutor and the executive or legislature.

At the17th session of the U.N. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (Vienna, 14-18 April 2008), a Resolution was passed which called for “Strengthening the rule of law through improved integrity and capacity of prosecution services’ The full text of the IAP Prosecution Standards was annexed to the Resolution and state parties were requested to take them into consideration when reviewing or developing their own Prosecution standards. The text is available to all Member States on the U.N.’s Official Document System and its website, in all 6 official U.N. languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). Work continues between UNODC and the IAP on facilitating implementation and a handbook on the ‘Status and Role of Prosecutors’ is under development to illustrate the standards with a commentary and practical examples.


Benefits of IAP membership



Ø Membership of a global network

Ø Access to IAP website and area restricted to members

Ø Receipt of quarterly newsletter including reports of IAP activities and announcements and articles of interest to the global prosecutor

Ø Access to Global Prosecutors E Crime Network[GPEN] training materials and contacts

Ø Access to Forum for International Justice [FICJ]-focusing on war crimes and crimes against humanity

Ø Access to the Trafficking in Persons Network[TIPP]

Ø Eligibility to participate in Annual and Regional Conferences

Ø Eligibility for the IAP Granting Programme

Ø Access to Prosecutors Exchange Programme (PEP)

Ø Opportunity to contribute to IAP projects and activities

Ø Access to IAP publications Human Rights Manual for Prosecutors and Good Practice Guides

Ø Opportunity to publish and distribute articles and papers for prosecutors

Ø Discounted registration fees for selected international events and conferences


Organisational membership of the IAP is open to;


 A prosecution service or an association of prosecutors organised on a country or a jurisdictional basis;

 An organisation, agency or foundation established for the promotion of crime pre­vention measures and the functions of which are closely connected with the prosecu­tion of crime or an international unit, body, organisation or forum established by a state(s) or by a prosecution service to stimulate and improve coordination and cooperation between competent national prosecuting authorities


Individual membership of the IAP is open to lawyers who are, or have been, prosecutors.


 "Prosecutors" means any lawyer who is or has been appointed by or on behalf of the state or other public authority to prosecute criminal offences or who is or has been elected for that purpose and includes lawyers who have regularly been retained by a prosecutor so appointed or elected to conduct or assist in the conduct of criminal prosecutions and also includes examining magistrates.


The IAP has produced a number of publications which include;


Standards for Protection and Security of Prosecutors


Assistance by UK Prosecutors in Proceeds of Crime Casework (in coordination with UK prosecuting authorities)


IAP Human Rights Manual [second edition produced 2009]and companion training manual



For more information regarding membership and access to IAP material please access the IAP website: or contact the IAP Secretariat


Forthcoming IAP events of interest: