EUPOL COPPS delivers training for prosecutors on the right to a fair trial and other human rights standards

EUPOL COPPS advisers from Germany and Finland delivered training for 11 Palestinian prosecutors on international human rights conventions and standards, including the right to a fair trial, with a focus on how these standards can be applied in Palestine.

“Human rights are extremely important for Palestinians, considering the difficult times we have been through,” said Najwa Abdallah, the Head of the Human Rights Unit at the Attorney General’s Office. “Palestine is now trying to harmonise its laws in line with international human rights conventions. We hope that 2020 will be the year of human rights in Palestine and we are happy for support to achieve this”.

The training underlined the importance for prosecutors to act in an impartial, objective and fair-minded way, as well as knowing the relevant domestic and international laws in detail.

“The goal of criminal proceedings is to dispense justice – not injustice!” said Jari-Pekka Paajala, EUPOL COPPS Prosecution Expert. “Prosecutors have a responsibility to provide a fair platform for conducting criminal investigations and subsequent court proceedings. As a rule, the burden of proof is on a prosecutor – they have to prove that the accused is guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. Moreover, the accused has certain rights during criminal proceedings, including the right to remain silent and the right to not incriminate themselves. All investigative actions, in particular use of coercive measures, shall adhere to principles of proportionality, minimum intervention and sensitivity”.

Respect for human rights is a foundation stone of law enforcement work and central to EUPOL COPPS’ activity in Palestine. Further human rights trainings for prosecutors and other rule of law institutions are planned in the coming months.