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Human rights in the administration of justice


Monday, May 23, 2011

Following the recommendations of the 2009 seminar on the implementation of the national anti-torture law, the APT, jointly with the Ministry of Justice and in collaboration with the ACAT - Madagascar, organised a training seminar addressing the issue of 'Human Rights in the Administration of Justice: Prohibition and Prevention of Torture' on the 24-26 May 2011.

Date: 24 - 26 May 2011
Place: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Partners: Ministry of Justice
Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature et des Greffes (ENMG), Antananarivo?
ACAT - Madagascar
Objectives:
  • Sensitize law practitioners about the importance of their role in protecting human rights and especially in the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
  • Deepen and update their knowledge of the prohibition and prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
  • Promote the effective implementation of the June 2008 national law against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading as well as other international and regional instruments.
  • Acquire skills and tools for a better understanding and application of the 2008 law and other relevant international instruments, including the UN Convention Against Torture and the Robben Island Guidelines.
  • Facilitate the exchange of best practices between different professionals involved in the conduct of criminal proceedings.
  • Identify and evaluate participants from potential trainers who can ensure continuity and sustainability of training.
Activities: Following the recommendations of the 2009 seminar on the implementation of the national anti-torture law, the APT, jointly with the Ministry of Justice and in collaboration with ACAT - Madagascar, is conducting a series of training seminars addressing the issue of 'Human Rights in the Administration of Justice: Prohibition and Prevention of Torture'.

Two seminars previously took place in June and October 2010, with this third seminar held on 24-26 May 2011. About 40 law practitioners have been trained, including judges, prosecutors, lawyers, police officers and gendarmes. The seminar focused on the UNCAT and the national anti-torture law which was adopted on 25 June 2008 in order to familiarize these key actors with the instruments and to facilitate their use and implementation. The session was facilitated by the Legal Adviser to the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda, Mr. Koffi Afande and the APT Africa Programme Officer, Jean Baptiste Niyizurugero. The training focused on the provisions of the UNCAT, including:
  • The definition and the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
  • The obligations of the state: complaints, investigation, prosecution.
  • The substantive and procedural safeguards for persons detained as part of prevention.
  • Jurisdiction and extradition in relation to torture cases.
  • Conditions of detention and monitoring mechanisms.
  • Protection of victims and their right to compensation.
  • Role and interaction of different actors involved in the criminal proceedings.
  • Role of lawyers in the prevention of torture and the implementation of the 2008 anti-torture law.
The participants were proactive in exchanging concerns and good practices in relation to the everyday dealing with cases of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. Participants were in general very motivated and open to share examples and challenges as well as to identify and agree on concrete measures that could be taken by specific key actors in order to prohibit and prevent torture. Some participants already attended the previous training session in October 2010; they were therefore invited to report back on their experience after the training.

During the session, the APT officially presented the module on the prohibition and prevention of torture which has been elaborated in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice. The module is designed to be incorporated in the curricula of the main training institutions for law enforcement officials as well as to be used during seminars and other pedagogical activities.

Additionally, a group of potential trainers were identified during the three day session. They will be responsible for the dissemination of the content of the training and for the sensibilisation of the population to the issue of torture. They will also contribute to the delivery of the module, playing the role of experts during seminars and other continuous training that may be organized by the Ministry of Justice or national training institutions.

As follow up steps, the APT will:
  • Finalize, publish and disseminate a use-friendly guide on torture prevention.
  • Accompany the group of potential trainers as well as other trainers from national institutions in order to consolidate their knowledge and methodology.
  • Provide tools and technical assistance to local trainers in developing the substance of the module according to different audiences.
  • Provide follow-up and evaluation training in November 2011.
   
   

 

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