The traditional "continental" criminal procedure is not able to cope with the increasing number of cases and to respond to the newly developing types of crime. So the legislator has to allow authorities dealing with criminal matters to select cases, to decide which categories of cases should have priority and to create exceptions to the principle of legality. At the same time the requirements of fair process should not be forgotten when a state fulfils the claim for the simpler and quicker arrangement of criminal cases. This study pays attention to the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (No. R. (87) 18) and compares its guidance with the features of discretionary power of the Hungarian public prosecutor. By now due to the intention of the legislator who has the requirements of our age and the limits of the ability of the criminal justice in sight, the discretionary power of the prosecutor has become wider and wider. In Hungarian law discretionary prosecution requires previous consent of the suspect and in other cases the suspect has right to remedy and challenge the judicial judgements. Rules of the new Code of Criminal Procedure (Act XIX of 1998) strengthen the role of the prosecutor in the criminal process.