As part of its mentoring activities to the Ministry of Justice, EUPOL identified the need to strengthen the interaction between the Police and the Legal Aid System. EUPOL seeks to address these needs through the Legal Aid Project - funded by the EU Instrument for Stability – and continuous training activities across the country.
The Legal Aid Project aims to achieve three results:
(1) Police and other justice institutions support access to defense counsel and to legal aid;
(2) Referral mechanisms between the Police and the Legal Aid Department for the assignment of legal aid providers are established;
(3) Capacity of defense advocates (AIBA and Legal Aid Department) and of Ministry of Interior lawyers on fair trial standards and defense rights, including on legal aid, is increased.
Activities under this project will start in April 2012 and their implementation will continue until April 2013.
In addition to the Legal Aid Project, EUPOL has developed a training package focusing on the legal aid system to be delivered in Kabul and in the regions through EUPOL’s City Police and Justice Programme. The training package –denominated ATLAS (Access to Legal Aid System) – is to be administered over a period of 3 days, followed by 2 mentoring sessions. The target groups of ATLAS are: MOI (ANP + CID); defense lawyers (from Legal Aid Department/MOJ; AIBA and other NGO legal aid providers); AGO (Investigative and Trial Prosecutors); civil society representatives and Judges.
EUPOL has recently appointed a mentor to the Taqneen which is the MOJ department responsible for drafting, reviewing and scrutinizing (for compliance) draft legislation and forwarding this legislation to the Council of Ministers for enactment. In addition, EUPOL’s mentoring continues to be done indirectly through the Criminal Law Review Working Group, which will soon start revising the 1976 Penal Code.
A Glance at the Penal Code (May 2012)
(Last updated: 2012)