Cooperation and exchange of information among the actors of the criminal justice

2 Aug 2012

Cooperation and exchange of information among the actors of the criminal justice

1 August 2012- UNIOGBIS Security Sector Reform (SSR) closed today in Bissau, a two-day colloquium on justice. Sixty representatives of Bissau-Guinean criminal justice institutions, including 14 women, of Magistracy, Prosecution services, Public Order Police and Judiciary Police attended the meeting held under the theme "Coordination, cooperation and exchange of information among prosecutors, Public Ministry and the judiciary".

The justice sector has been marked by lack of coordination and collaboration between the public prosecution service and the police, leading to fragile rule of law in Guinea-Bissau.

Acknowledging the problems of the justice in Guinea-Bissau, the Prosecutor-General, Edmundo Mendes, underlined the need to reinforce the institutional communication among the institutions constituting the justice administration system in the country. He emphasized that since there can be no trial without prosecution and no prosecution without preliminary investigation by the police, all institutions have a critical role to play in delivery of justice to the people.

In order to overcome these challenges, the colloquium recommended inter alia :-the need for enhanced formal communication between the various institutions of justice; - holding of structured periodic meetings between focal points and senior management of various institutions for timely exchange of information; - promulgation of directives articulating clarity in roles, duties and competence of policing and internal security institutions; -additional training for the justice actors in order to keep all duly updated; -uniformity and coherence in the policies of all institutions with a role in the criminal justice sector.

All participants further recognized that the event helped improve the relationships between institutional representatives and provided an opportunity for judges, prosecutors and police investigators to jointly address key problems, openly discuss mutual concerns and propose solutions on the way forward.

They also emphasized the importance of enhancing a rule of law culture in Guinea-Bissau, ensuring the separation of powers and independence of the judiciary.

Reiterating those ideas, while closing the colloquium, the representative of the Supreme Court stressed that it's important to "Strengthen the capacities of national institutions in order to maintain constitutional order, public security and full respect for the rule of law". Mr. Fernando Ribeiro also exhorted the UN and the other partners to continue "supporting national authorities to establish effective and efficient police, law enforcement and criminal justice system".