A Danish prosecutor lends a helping hand to Palestinian counterparts

When Andreas Laursen joined the EUPOL COPPS Mission in Ramallah as a Prosecution Expert, he was aware that his secondment would also partly be a walk down memory lane.

The 52-year-old father of two has a special passion for the Middle East, having completed a degree in Middle East studies and worked as an intern for Al-Haq, a prominent rights group based in Ramallah, where he met his wife, Aida. “Ramallah is very special to me. I can add this to the reasons why I wanted to come here. It has a personal significance,” said the senior prosecutor.

Committed and knowledgeable counterparts
Since his arrival in early August, Mr. Laursen, who is on leave from the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crimes, has been working to develop a network of contacts at the Palestinian Attorney General Office and Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission.

His mission is to lend a helping hand to the Palestinian counterparts in training, capacity building and cooperation between the police and prosecution in the fight against corruption, serious economic crime and cybercrime. “They (the Palestinian counterparts) are very professional, very committed and knowledgeable within their fields,” he said.

Building a society on the rule of law
He is working with another 20 Mission Members in the Rule of Law Section, which includes judges, lawyers, magistrates, human rights and legislative experts, to provide technical and legal advice to the Palestinian criminal justice institutions. Mr. Laursen wants to contribute in boosting the capabilities of the counterparts in order to enhance the prosecution system in Palestine, a key component of effective Rule of Law.

“Together with the civilian police and the courts, the prosecution service is an important and integral component of the overall law enforcement chain“, said the prosecution expert. “And to ensure a self-sustainable criminal justice sector, it requires the full chain. This is a key element in a society built on the rule of law, in full compliance with human rights."