Intercultural Human Rights Law Review

First Page



Justice and human dignity have an organic and symbiotic relationship. The American Bar Association's Functions and Duties of the Prosecutor Standard 3-1.2(a) outlines that "[t]he prosecutor is an administrator of justice . . . [and] should exercise sound discretion and independent judgement in the performance of the prosecution function." The ABA standards further prohibit improper bias2 and proscribe a duty to report and respond to prosecutorial misconduct.3 ABA Standard 3-1.2(b) states: "The primary duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice within the bounds of the law, not merely to convict." 4 Although rarely openly discussed, I ask now, is it possible to "do justice" while still addressing the human dignity of the criminally accused, the alleged victim, as well as the community? This essay will query whether human dignity plays a role in the prosecutor's daily decisions about justice, and more specifically in the prosecutor's most significant function-the decision to charge or not to charge. Further, if it does play a role, in what manner and in which cases does it operate? Should concerns of human dignity ultimately determine the outcome?