UNDP, US, KP governments strengthen justice sector capacity

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Staff Reporter

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan organized a two-day consultative workshop in Islamabad on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Prosecution Academy.

Funded by the United States Government through U.S. Embassy Pakistan’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) section, with 50-kanal land allocated by the KP Government, the KP Prosecution Academy will train prosecutors, lawyers, and staff of other rule of law institutions on various criminal laws and procedures, said a press release.

Additional training topics will focus on women and juvenile protection laws and procedures, criminal trials, the right to a fair trial, anti-terrorism laws, anti-fraud laws, and cybercrimes, among others.

Simultaneously, participants will also be trained on developing a work ethic, communication, and advocacy skills integral to their roles.

The KP Prosecution Academy will have a dedicated women’s wing with a hostel and a daycare facility to create an enabling environment for women prosecutors and encourage more women’s representation in the legal profession.

Established in Peshawar District at Mira Kachori, the academy will have a training facility, administration block, and a residential compound.

It will be fully functional by May 2021 with training and meeting halls, monitoring and research rooms, auditorium, library and computer labs, a dedicated residential area, gymnasium, and recreational lounges.

In addition to its construction, UNDP, with INL funding, is providing support to set up a structured training system, which includes developing a training policy and implementation plan, comprehensive training curriculum for the basic and specialized training, e-learning centre, and SOPs.

The two-day consultative workshop allowed senior prosecutors to learn about the functions of the KP Prosecution Academy, personnel roles and responsibilities, various communication protocols, and the criteria and mechanisms to ensure a safe and healthy working environment.

Director- General of Prosecution Mukhtiar Ahmad, INL Pakistan Program Officer Ms. Cristian Martinez-LuSane, and UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative Knut Ostby delivered remarks on the first day of the workshop.

Ahmad thanked INL and UNDP and said this initiative would play a monumental role in strengthening the criminal justice system in the region: “I am certain that this academy will build the capacity and skills of KP prosecutors and enable them to play their part in strengthening the rule of law in Pakistan.”

UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative Knut Ostby thanked INL Pakistan for being a consistent partner and the KP Government for its continued support: “With the right infrastructural support, enhanced capacity within the rule of law sector, and more gender-inclusive institutions, the rule of law sector in Pakistan is headed in the right direction.”