Support to the Development of the Criminal Policy, Prosecution and Investigation in Georgia
Ministry of Justice, Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs
The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the rule of law and protection of human rights in Georgia in line with Georgia’s international commitments, to continue to support the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in coordinating and monitoring implementation of the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy, and to bring reforms to the Prosecutor’s Office and Ministry of Internal Affairs in line with international standards and commitments.
The specific objectives of the project are as follows:
1. Criminal Justice Reform Policy – Development, Coordination and Monitoring:
- Enhance analytical, legal, research and policy development capacity of MoJ and the Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council (CRJC) to ensure professional, participatory and transparent implementation and monitoring of the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy and Action Plan (CJRS)
- Scrutinize the relevant legislative and policy reforms and initiatives with regard to the EU and international standards, seeking streamlined processes and ensuring protection of human rights and fair trial
2. Professional Development
- Professional capacity development of MIA crime investigators, lower-level prosecutors, mid-level police supervisors, and mid-level supervisory prosecutors to enable them to make decisions regarding criminal investigations independently, and ensuring that they are fully aware and obedient of the existing policies and procedures
- Enhance the Prosecution Service and MIA by introducing long-term strategies and action plans for training programs
- Create and organize new resources – including investigation manuals, an e-library and internal training courses – for prosecutors and crime investigators to better enable them to perform their duties
- Improve the Prosecution Service’s case management system for processing international requests for cooperation in criminal matters
3. Public Relations
- Assist the Prosecution Service and MIA to jointly develop PR strategies, and to establish best practices in crime prevention including community outreach programs to encourage members of the community to voluntarily provide information about crimes
4. Human Resources Development
- Enhance the independence and transparency of the disciplinary mechanisms of the Prosecution Service and MIA that provide due process to employees who are subjected to these mechanisms
- Modernize the Prosecution Service’s ethics code, human resource system, and performance appraisal system
5. Management Capacity
- Capacity building of the Prosecution Service and MIA to use compatible methodologies in collecting, analyzing and reporting crime statistics based on generally accepted practices
- Providing technical assistance to the MIA to employ an intelligence-led policing strategy in accordance with best practices and human rights standards
6. Human Rights
- Improve the complaint systems of the Prosecution Service and MIA and ensure that complaints of misconduct are properly reported, analyzed and addressed
- Ensure the presence of an in-house expert for prosecutors and investigators to consult on ECHR and other human rights standards and jurisprudence matters at the Prosecution Service
PMCG, in consortium with ICE, B&S, EPM and ETI Consulting will conduct workshops and training sessions for all three institutions (MIA, MoJ, Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia) to increase the capacity of staff to better manage and monitor criminal justice sector reforms in consultation with relevant stakeholders, to improve cooperation with criminal justice sector institutions at all levels, and to improve policy development and analysis capabilities. The institutions will become aware of the European standards on implementation of the Juvenile Justice Code. In addition, study tours will be organized for CJRC with similar institutions in European countries.
Project consultants will also work on organizational structure and procedures development after conducting a thorough analysis of relationships between different agencies, departments and levels at given institutions. New manuals, strategies and proposals will be developed to improve the roles, capacities and responsibilities of crime investigators, prosecutors and police supervisors at local and regional levels.
The given three institutions, based on the assessment, will also receive updated PR strategies, tailor-made trainings on PR and crime prevention best practices, and the opportunity to participate in study visits and conferences to share best practices in law enforcement in countries similar to Georgia.
Project experts will develop proposals to improve levels of transparency and fairness based on conducted disciplinary process assessment at the Prosecution Service and MIA. They will also implement new ethics codes and develop/conduct training programs, organize study visits and trainings for human resources staff, and develop an improved HRM system including procedures for performance appraisal and recruitment. The MIA and Prosecutor’s Office will also be able to participate in a tailor-made training program for implementing the intelligence-led policing model.
The consortium will provide technical assistance to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in the field of human rights to increase awareness about the ECHR, to develop a methodology for publishing reports, to assess the complaints system and to develop proposals to improve their effectiveness.
The Single Support Framework for EU Support to Georgia 2014 – 2017 lists justice sector reforms as one of the top priority sectors of intervention.
The EU-Georgia Association Agenda includes among its priorities the further reform of the criminal justice sector to “ensure the independence, efficiency, impartiality and professionalism of the judiciary and prosecution, as well as of law enforcement agencies which should be free from political or any other undue interference”.
With regard to the Prosecution Service, the Association Agenda includes as a priority the identification of the “proper constitutional setting for the Prosecution Service with effective oversight in order to build public confidence and establish a truly professional Prosecution Service independent of political party or other undue influence”. It further identifies the need to “ensure that criminal prosecutions are conducted in a transparent and impartial manner, free from political motivation, in order to avoid selective justice”.
With regard to the MIA, the Association Agenda identifies as a priority the need to “increase the accountability and democratic oversight of law enforcement agencies”, including a professional, credible and effective mechanism for responding to complaints against the police and prosecutors. It also calls for comprehensive professional training of law enforcement officers on ethics and human rights.
In March 2015, the Joint Staff Working Document on Implementation of the ENP in Georgia mentioned that based on the assessment of progress in 2014, Georgia should focus its work, inter alia, on “ensuring that criminal investigations and prosecutions are conducted in a transparent and impartial manner, free of political motivation, ensuring that reform of the Prosecution Service is completed and that the Service is independent from political influence and is publicly accountable, increasing the accountability and democratic oversight of law enforcement agencies, establishing an independent and effective complaints mechanism and addressing complaints on property rights violations, torture and ill-treatment, and misuse of the plea bargaining system, and investigating abuses – particularly by law enforcement officers”.
Although the MoJ, Prosecution Service and MIA have made significant progress towards implementing the foregoing strategies and priorities over the last years, the reform process is ongoing and a number of issues within the criminal justice sector remain to be addressed or addressed more effectively.
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