Enhancing Police Role and Responsibilities in Criminal Investigations in Iraq

May 10, 2018

Baghdad- The Ministry of the Interior of Iraq and UNDP held a workshop on establishing standard operating procedures (SOP) for criminal investigations.

The need for developing an SOP on Criminal Investigations for the police had been identified as a priority recommendation in Criminal Justice Systems within the government's on going security sector reform efforts. The draft SOP aims to outline the roles of the operation room, first crime responders, crime scene technicians and lead investigators in criminal investigations. It sets standards on victim and witness treatment, suspect interviewing and special investigative measures.   

Participants reviewed the draft SOP and made numerous recommendations to clarify roles and responsibilities. Participants agreed on an approach for its finalisation by late July, overseen by the Criminal Justice Committee, with support and feedback from UNDP, the Higher Judicial Council and the Ministry of Justice. The agreed document will then be presented to the Minister of Interior for final approval and to ensure its implementation.

UNDP’s Criminal Justice Adviser, Andreas Kirsch-Wood, emphasised that “police departments must take the initiative themselves and undertake the tasks assigned to them in the SOP, unless the investigating judge provides specific orders to expand, redirect or limit the investigations.”

Participants from MOI comprised heads and representatives of key police departments involved in conducting criminal investigations, including the police affairs agency, forensic evidence department, the anti-crime section, the counter-narcotics directorate, and the Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency.

Major General Ziad, who heads the training and qualification directorate of the Ministry of the Interior, stated that his Ministry “will work to speed up crime investigations by improving investigation procedures as much as possible, and thereby enhancing the principle of justice and security.”

UNDP Rule of Law Programme supports a comprehensive programme on security sector reform in Iraq to assist the Government  in advancing its Security Sector Reform Programme. The overall programme of work is implemented through collaborative partnerships with the Office of the National Security Advisor, Ministry of Interior, Higher Judicial Council, Ministry of Justice, Parliamentary Security and Defence Committee, Iraqi civil society  and a range of International Partners.

For additional information, contact:

 Ms. Chamila Hemmathagama, Rule of Law  Programme Manager, (m) +964 751 184 3529

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