EUPOL COPPS funds the printing of 40,000 new templates for criminal record certificates that are almost impossible to forge

As part of EUPOL COPPS’ support for the Palestinian Ministry of Justice, the Mission funded the printing of 40,000 new templates with improved security features that will enable the Criminal Record General Administration to issue non-conviction certificates that are extremely difficult to forge. The donation was made by EUPOL COPPS Head of Mission Kauko Aaltomaa during a meeting with Minister of Justice, Dr. Mohammad Shalaldeh, on 30 June 2020.

“Non-conviction certificates enable others – for example employers – to know that someone has not committed a crime in the past,” said Peter Stafverfeldt, EUPOL COPPS Ministerial Strategic and Policy Expert. “It is therefore important that they are secure – to give an extreme example, with a forged certificate a former bank robber might be able to get a job in a bank! EUPOL COPPS has been supporting the Criminal Record General Administration of the Ministry of Justice with strategic advice for many years now and we are delighted to be able to support our colleagues with the donation of these new templates”.

The idea for producing new certificates resulted initially from a trip sponsored by EUPOL COPPS to Jordan in 2018, where among other activities, participants were introduced to the templates used by the Jordanian authorities. As a consequence, the Head of the Criminal Record General Administration, Yousef Obaid, submitted an official request to the Minister of Justice to authorise new and more secure documents.

The new templates contain many features common to banknotes which make them secure – holograms, ink that is only visible under ultraviolet light and patterned lines.

In terms of further support, EUPOL COPPS will support the Criminal Record General Administration in reviewing the Criminal Record Regulation. In addition, the Mission will continue supporting the Criminal Record General Administration and the IT Unit of the Ministry of Justice in enhancing the new so called “One-Platform” for the issuing of non-conviction certificates. Many institutions are involved in the process of issuing these certificates; each providing a piece of the puzzle. Already, many of the interinstitutional challenges have been overcome through discussions facilitated by the Mission and the Ministry of Justice.

Right now, cooperation between EUPOL COPPS and the Ministry of Justice is focusing on challenges with regard to rehabilitation, which means that a non-conviction certificate can also be issued a certain time after a sentence is served. However, the process of issuing a rehabilitation attestation is currently neither electronic nor digitised and may require decisions both by the Attorney General and a Judge, which is time consuming. A workshop is under discussion where these challenges can be discussed and hopefully overcome.