west-africa-cti-event

CTI West Africa professional police training workshop

Location

Online (hosted by Ghana)

ATTENDANCE

Invitation Only

DATE & TIME

START: 13/04/21

END: 15/04/21

Investigative Interviewing for Fair and Effective Administration of Justice

Context

Interviewing within the larger framework of criminal investigations is a core task in law enforcement, and how the police conduct interviews will have a profound impact on the outcome and fairness of the subsequent criminal proceedings. The investigative bodies are bound to respect and protect the inherent dignity and physical and mental integrity of all persons – including victims, witnesses and suspects. During criminal investigations, arrests and interrogations, the risk of committing human rights violations is high. The right to freedom from torture and the right to a fair trial, including the right to be presumed innocent, become particularly relevant during all stages of an investigation. In countries where police and prosecuting authorities lack a clear methodology and where training and teaching is minimal clearance rates are typically low. This again contributes to undermine the rule of law.

In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of judicial errors and wrongful convictions in the media. Errors of justice can be problematic to quantify, however, estimates from some jurisdictions exist. Research has found that guilt presumption and confirmation bias are among the primary underlying causes of errors of justice, including wrongful convictions. Yet, training in interview methodology is absent or minimal and only a handful of countries worldwide have this as part of the core curriculum in police training. The lack of sound guidance has led to presumptions of guilt and confession-driven practices. Criminal justice systems that are geared toward obtaining confessional evidence increase the risk of ill-treatment during police interviews.

Investigative interviewing is a reliable and well-established method for questioning victims, witnesses and suspects of crime. It implies a shift away from confession-driven interrogations to rapport and objective-led interviews, drawing on the best available science.

Objectives

The objectives of this professional training are to build capacity of law enforcement and the wider justice system in West Africa through the introduction of a non-coercive, efficient, practical and human rights compliant toolbox for conducting interviews of victims, witnesses and suspects of crime. The training will also support implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), in particular Articles 10 and 11 on education and training, and periodic review of interrogation procedures; as well as Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. It also supports implementation of Part II of the Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-trial Detention in Africa (Luanda Guidelines), particularly concerning the implementation of legal and procedural safeguards for persons held in police custody prior to and during questioning.

Participation

The training is intended for officials working in the criminal justice sector, notably senior police and law enforcement officials (primarily detectives or others working on criminal investigations), prosecutors, judges and senior lawyers or heads of departments within the country’s Ministry of Justice and/or Attorney General’s Office from the following countries:

  • The Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone

The event is by invitation only.






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