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Colombia: Attorney General’s Office
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > The Governmental System > Attorney General’s Office

ATTORNEY GENERAL€S OFFICE


The Attorney General’s Office is an independent judicial organ with the primary roles of investigating criminal offenses and prosecuting the accused. It consists of the attorney general, an assistant attorney general, delegates to other judicial entities, and departmental and municipal offices. Specialized national investigative units also exist in particularly sensitive areas, including human rights, corruption, money laundering, and drug trafficking. The Supreme Court elects the attorney general for a four-year, nonrenewable term from a list established by the president of the republic.

On January 1, 2005, a new Code of Criminal Procedure took effect in Bogotá and the Colombian coffee zone and began to be gradually applied throughout the whole country during 2008. The new code passes some investigatory responsibility to penal judges instead of the Attorney General’s Office. The accusatory system, which replaces the Napoleonic Code, is based on the U.S. Penal Code in that it introduces an oral hearing into the process. Although it is too soon to evaluate the effects of this shift on the administration of justice, there is widespread consensus that the new system requires more and better-trained investigators, for which the United States has provided active support.

Data as of June 2010




Last Updated: January 2010


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Colombia was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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