JSAP Plays an Active Role in Improving Court-Public Prosecution Cooperation
JSAP has supported various meetings and workshops between justice sector stakeholders on the district and now national level
Improving cooperation between the Public Prosecution and Courts and other justice sector stakeholders has been a long-time Justice Sector Assistance Project (JSAP) priority. JSAP has regularly focused on facilitating meetings on the district level between Chief Prosecutors, Chief Judges and their respective staffs in order to improve investigative teamwork and the processing of cases. During the period of August 1-2, 2016 JSAP helped elevate this cooperation, taking it to the national leadership level as JSAP hosted a joint workshop with the participation of institutional leaders including Attorney General, Ahmed Barrak and High Judicial Council (HJC) Secretary General, Judge Raed Assaf as well as Chief Judges and Prosecutors from across all West Bank governorates.
The workshop was conducted in coordination with the HJC and the Attorney General's Office (AGO) and was led by a JSAP consultant, Jordanian Judge Mustafa Al-Assaf. The event focused on having an open and honest dialogue on the key challenges presented in joint Public Prosecution-Judiciary work and proposing solutions to these challenges.
Speaking at the workshop Attorney General Barrak stressed the significance of this workshop and emphasized the need to focus on solutions to the many challenges facing prosecutors and judges in their joint work in order to facilitate litigation and ensuring justice and rule of law for Palestinian citizens. Judge Assaf noted that despite a successful relationship between the Judiciary and Public Prosecution it is necessary to identify current challenges in order to provide solutions so as to better serve the public interest.
Over the two days judges and prosecutors addressed many procedural, legal, and administrative issues that impact the adjudication of criminal cases. “This workshop was effective in addressing and finding solutions to some of the most prominent challenges encountered in cases between the Judiciary and Prosecutors. Due to the lack of clarity in certain legal provisions in the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Law, there is an absence in some procedures to govern the relationship between the courts and prosecution,” stated Judge Assaf.
At the conclusion of the workshop, the prosecutors and judges developed concrete recommendations to deal with their most common challenges in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of work between the two critical justice sector parties. Some recommedations call for formalizing regular coordination meetings between the Chief Judges and Chief Prosecutors in the districts as well other concrete actions to improve the flow of information and processing of cases between the two institutions.