The Procurator General's Office as an authority representing the State

The Procurator General's Office is to be distinguished from other authorities which undertake legal representation of the state by dint of its close relationship to the Supreme Court of Justice and by the special nature of its functions, above all by its role as a legal representative of the state, not in the form of a prosecutor but rather as custodian of the law.

Like any public prosecutor's office (Staatsanwaltschaft), the Procurator General's Office is also a monocractically structured authority that acts alongside, not under, the court – in this case the Supreme Court. Its head (the Procurator General) is empowered to make use of a deputy for all official acts (right of substitution), and to take over the official duties of a subordinate body (right of devolution). At present, in addition to the head of the Office, four section heads known as First Solicitors General and thirteen deputies of the Procurator General known as Solicitors General are employed in the Office. The section heads, in addition to their role of filling in for the head of the Office and managing their own departments, are also responsible for reviewing the Solicitors’ General reports from their sections.

Position within the hierarchy of control

Pursuant to Sec. 2 Para. 1 of the Public Prosecutor's Office Act, the Public Prosecutors are responsible to the Senior Public Prosecutor's Offices, which (like the Procurator General's Office) are directly responsible, in turn, to the Federal Ministry for Justice. Thus, the Procurator General's Office does not constitute a part of the hierarchy of control in the sequence Federal Minister – Senior Public Prosecutor – Public Prosecutor (and District Prosecutor). The law does not provide for the Procurator General to exercise control over the Senior Public Prosecutor's Offices or the Public Prosecutor's Offices; nor does he have any power of supervision or devolution as against these authorities (unlike the Senior Public Prosecutor with respect to the Public Prosecutors). Accordingly, the Procurator General does not have jurisdiction to accept complaints pertaining to one of those authorities; instead, any such submissions should be addressed to the Senior Public Prosecutor with jurisdiction or to the Federal Ministry for Justice.