Workshop on human rights and laws held in Bentiu

9 Nov 2011

Workshop on human rights and laws held in Bentiu

5 November –As part of its efforts to help reform South Sudanese laws, UNMISS Human Rights Office concluded a two-day workshop today in the Unity State capital Bentiu on the role of prosecutors in protecting and promoting human rights.

The workshop, which also highlighted human rights in the administration of justice, brought together state prosecutors, judges in charge of criminal cases, the director and deputy director of the police investigation department and prison representatives.

The workshop's chief facilitator and UNMISS Bentiu Human Rights head Pilar Cuesta said the training aimed to reform laws and policies so that they were consistent with international, regional and national human rights standards.

"This will also increase compliance of key administration of justice actors with human rights standards, and build capacity of the formal and informal justice systems," Ms. Cuesta said.

She added that three additional training sessions for prosecutors on national, regional and international human rights standards as well as jurisprudence and their application in court would soon take place in the state.

The workshop, which was also facilitated by UN Police, provided an overview of general principles governing human rights law and the importance of prosecutors' roles in upholding the rule of law, including human rights standards.

Speaking on behalf of participants, Acting President of the High Court William Kaya Pacifico said the workshop would help them resume the "Rule of Law Forum", which discusses legal concerns like human rights, educating police with military backgrounds, the need to strengthen investigations, and deployment of legal counsels to counties.

Participants also recommended a follow-up workshop.