Criminal case management course for judges and prosecutors in Ninewah, first of a series of UNDP activities to support effective criminal justice administration in Iraq
Twelve Iraqi judges and prosecutors from the Governorate of Ninewah successfully completed a criminal case management course held in Baghdad on 25-26 August 2017. UNDP Rule of Law Programme designed and conducted the course collaboratively with the Higher Judicial Council and the Judicial Development Institute.
The judges and prosecutors came from Mosul, Rabia, Sinjar, Makhmour, Shikhan, Zumar, Tal Aafr and Hamdania courts in Ninewah. They are sepcialized in adjudicating terrorism and criminal cases committed against Sunni, Shia, Christian, Yazidi, Shabak and Kurd populations during the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The course addressed effective justice administration, stages of complex crime investigations, assessment of strengths and challenges of the Iraqi justice system, prosecution system, digital evidence, in addition to money laundering and terrorist financing, and forensic flows.
Attending the closing ceremony, Chief Justice Hon. Faiq Zedan expressed appreciation to the judges and prosecutors “for their commitment and hard work under very challenging conditions.” He added: “The Higher Judicial Council will continue to collaborate with UNDP to improve the judiciary in response to the needs of people in Iraq.”
Participants identified priorities to improve Iraq's criminal justice system, particularly in newly liberated areas. Amongst key recommendations was to establish a comprehensive unified database for terrorist suspects to help avoid duplication of names and improve access to corresponding information on suspects' alleged crimes.
Other recommendations included: increasing the number of judges to address the large case load, increasing the number of qualified and trained judges and investigators to assist the police, training and equipping police for better crime prevention and detection, and rebuilding destroyed court houses and detention centres in Ninewah.
Judge Ghanim Mohammed Sultan said:
“The course helped the participating judges and prosecutors to enrich their knowledge and expand their vision ... In spite of challenges on the ground, we will do our very best to provide justice for all in Ninewah and hold to account those who have committed crimes against the people.”
UNDP’s Rule of Law Programme Manager, Ms. Chamila Hemmathagama, said:
“The workshop helped participants to gain new knowledge on areas such as criminal case management specifically related to terrorism cases, digital evidence and the role of forensic evidence in detecting crimes. This is just the beginning of a series of workshops to develop a robust training programme for judges and prosecutors in Iraq with a specific focus on liberated areas.”
The next workshop will take place in September 2017 for 12 judges and prosecutors from the Governorate of Anbar. Outcomes of the two workshops will be maximized to further refine and review the training curricular and required topics for future trainings in discussion with Higher Judicial Council and the Judicial Development Institute.