International Development Law Organization

Afghans join International Prosecutors' Conference

A delegation led by Afghan Attorney General, Farid Hamidi, participated in the 21st Annual Conference of the International Association of Prosecutors in Dublin this month, with the support of IDLO.

The conference explored issues relating to the theme of 'the Prosecutor and the Investigator' examining this relationship in different jurisdictions and looking at governance issues that arise in the prosecution and investigation of crime, best practice in case management, as well as the management of institutional performance. Participants from across the world shared their experiences during the five-day event.

IDLO Afghanistan's Justice Training Transition Program (JTTP), funded by the US State Department, facilitated the visit of the delegation, which included Deputy Attorney Generals Abdul Fatah Azizi and Maliha Hassan, as well as AG Chief of Staff, Baktash Azizi. Attorney General Hamidi held a series of meetings with his counterparts and renewed Afghanistan's lapsed membership of the IAP.

Deputy Attorney General, Maliha Hassan, spoke to IDLO about the event on her return to Afghanistan.

IDLO - How was the conference relevant to your work?
MH - Several topics of the conference agenda such as “conflict-related sexual violence”, “investigation and prosecution of domestic violence and sexual offences”, “advising the investigator during the investigation process”, and “ensuring a fair trial and respected human rights standards during investigation and prosecution” were very informative to my work.

IDLO - What are the challenges in this respect in Afghanistan?
MH - Some of the challenges of the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) include providing impartial investigation and prosecution to build clients’ trust and to respond to Afghan society’s expectations, establishing transparent administrative systems, and instituting a professional organization to combat corruption.

IDLO - What progress is being made?
MH - Reform in the AGO has started in several directions.

IDLO - What did you learn from the conference?
MH - The five days were a good learning experience. I learned the experiences of other countries, as well as new and very important types of investigation on issues like environmental crimes.

IDLO - What was most interesting or useful aspect for you personally?
MH - It was interesting to me to see how nations, IAP members, from different parts of the globe collaborate and provide technical support to each other.

IDLO - Which 'shared experiences' were the most helpful to your context?
MH - Pre-prosecution to prevent crimes was one of the most helpful experiences I learned. There is no pre-prosecution in Afghanistan and I believe this would help in reducing crimes level.

IDLO - What difference do you think this will make to your work back in Afghanistan?
MH - Greater collaboration with all involved parties that work for the elimination of violence against women, engagement with professional institutions for seeking assistance in instigation of violence cases, and the proposal of necessary legislation and amendment on laws for elimination of violence against women.

IDLO - What would you say was the main highlight for you?
MH - Proposing a human-rights oriented topic - victims of informal justice and challenges of the AGO as a formal institution - for the agenda of the next IAP annual conference.

IDLO - What makes these exchanges particularly valuable to you? 
MH - To let the IAP know that the Afghan AGO can be an active member and to build relationships with other members of the IAP.

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Afghan Deputy Attorney General, Maliha Hassan