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List of Planned Activities

1. Building and promoting the capacity of public prosecution offices:
   1.1 Capacity-building of Human resources
   1.2 Modernization of Public Prosecution Offices' working tools
2. Promoting cooperation between public prosecution offices and civil society organizations
3. Promoting cooperation between public prosecution offices and the international community
4. Law Reform



1.1 Capacity-building of Human resources

The initiative related to the capacity building of the human resources is composed of the following three main activities:
   1. Training Programs
   2. Workshops and Seminars
   3. International Visits and Study Tours

    Training programs

The contemplated training programs aim to build the capacity of the human resources in both the selected public prosecution offices and assisting apparatuses, leading to the formation of qualified individuals who will adopt the taught skills and practices in their daily work in order to ensure a better performance of their duties and ultimately to better serve the community.

The training programs will occur in two distinct steps:
   Step I: Training of Trainers will occur on a regional level and will focus on the formation of qualified trainers on a number of different topics.
   Step II: The trainers of Step I shall transfer the knowledge and expertise that they have gained to other public prosecution members by conducting national/local training sessions in each pilot country.

The proposed training programs include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- Training on case management as well as training on the elaboration and evaluation of projects.
- Training on investigative techniques for:
    a. Computer-related crimes
    b. Corruption and money laundering
    c. Transnational and Organized Crime (security and terrorism)

In addition to the training programs organized by the Project, Arab public prosecution members will be engaged in training sessions organized on an international level by other organizations or initiatives. The goal is to encourage communication and cooperation among public prosecution members from various countries.

    Workshops and Conferences

A number of workshops and conferences will be organized in each pilot country in order to disseminate knowledge among public prosecution members, and in some instances CSOs, and ultimately to create awareness about the effects of some social and criminal issues on public prosecutions and on society in general.

  • Workshops on Human Rights
    The proposed workshops will mainly focus on the following topics:
    - Human rights before, during and after trial (with emphasis on the rights of victims and witnesses)
    - Women and juveniles
    The role of public prosecution in the protection of human rights and the international cooperation in criminal matters will be discussed in the above-mentioned workshops.
  • Regional Conferences/Seminars
    The proposed seminars will focus mainly on the following topics:
    - Computer-related crimes
    - Money laundering and corruption
    - Transnational and organized crimes (security and terrorism)
    The Project shall also organize a focus group and/or roundtable with CSOs in order to:
        - Advocate and raise awareness regarding the essential role of CSOs
        - Disseminate knowledge among the concerned CSOs regarding the efforts made by the public prosecution office in the fight against crime and in the protection of human rights,
        - Promote the establishment of new types of CSOs, as deemed necessary
    International visits and study tours

In addition to the training programs, the workshops and the conferences contemplated by the Project, there is a will to engage Arab public prosecution members in a variety of events organized on an international level by various organizations or initiatives (mainly events taking place in the United Kingdom of Brittain and Northern Ireland, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of France, the Kingdom of Denmark and the United States of America). The international visits will be coupled with study tours organized for Arab public prosecution members. The goal is to facilitate the sharing of expertise and the promotion of international collaboration and cooperative relations among Arab and foreign public prosecution members, as well as Arab and foreign CSOs.

1.2 Modernization of Public Prosecution Offices' working tools

The Project on the Modernization of Public Prosecution Offices emphasizes the importance of providing public prosecution members with modern working tools that would contribute to the efficiency and quality of their work.

Within this pillar, the projects to be implemented are:
    1. The computerization of the Public Prosecution Offices
    2. The establishment of Information Services which consist of the creation of paper and electronic libraries, the creation of a Legal Database on Criminal Legislation, and the construction of a website for the Project.
    3. The establishment of an Arab Centre for Criminal Studies.

    Computerization

The computerization of the public prosecution consists mainly of designing and adopting an IT System that would allow the concerned parties to manage and follow up on penal lawsuits. This system is crucial to ensure the good functioning of the authorities in charge of penal lawsuits, particularly the public prosecution office. It would help public prosecution members avoid common problems among which are: lingering in deciding on files, difficulty of following up with the procedures of a penal lawsuit and verifying its legality, problems with regard to the petition of litigants and the transparency of the public prosecution's work.

If properly developed, the IT system would enable public prosecution offices to:
  • Follow up on ongoing penal lawsuits or consult completed lawsuits.
  • Verify the legality of the procedures related to the lawsuit and, if the system gets linked to the penal courts and prisons, the legality of procedures that occurred before, during and even after trial.
  • Benefit from an "information window" that allows public prosecutors to access information about pending lawsuits.
  • Save in electronic form all the documents and files related to penal lawsuits in order to prevent their loss or damage. This would also allow the organization to have an archiving system for penal lawsuits.
  • Share the archived information with other judicial parties or concerned apparatuses.
  • Ensure transparency and accountability in the work of public prosecution offices by allowing the monitoring of their work.
  • Unify the working templates used by providing sample electronic templates that would be used by all.
  • Ensure the continuity and rapidity of work, particularly in cases of resignation, job transfer, replacement or promotion of staff, and in cases of file transfers.
  • The IT system can be modified according to the needs and priorities of the participating countries.
    Information Services

Public prosecutions in the pilot Arab countries lack, in general, important working tools such as specialized libraries that enclose references about penal legislations, whether national or international, and legal databases that include national legislations and laws, as well as penal judicial provisions.

Amid continuous challenges in the field of criminal justice and emerging difficulties such as modern crimes, the establishment of Information Services in each pilot country would contribute to the performance of the public prosecutions.

Information Services would ensure the following services:
     1. Respond to public prosecution members' requests for accurate and relevant information, researches and studies, particular laws, or judicial provisions related to the penal field.
     2. Publish and distribute penal and legal information (electronic or paper) to public prosecution offices.
     3. Provide international references, such as encyclopedias, publications, and periodicals from the data banks specialized in the penal field, document them within a national electronic library that would be continuously updated.
     4. Create cooperation and partnership opportunities with Arab or international information centers by going over their works and exchanging knowledge and information with them.

The establishment of Information Services consists of three major components:
  1. A library, both paper and electronic, that would act as a modern information center and be equipped with references that are important and contributive to the work of public prosecution.
    The location of the Library will be determined based on the request and related accommodations of each country, possibly in the office of the chief public prosecutor. It will consist of a law library, both paper and electronic:
    - The paper library shall include references, encyclopedias, books, and national and international articles related to penal issues in particular. The references and databases to be purchased will be determined in coordination with each concerned country and according to its needs.
    - The electronic/digital library will be composed of two types of databases:
        a) In house database which includes the following:
         - A bibliographic jurisprudential database of the national penal jurisprudential references.
         - A bibliographic jurisprudential database of some fundamental Arab and international penal references.
         - A database of national penal legislations and jurisprudence.
        b) External database which consists of many types of data banks including:
         - National legislative/jurisprudential data banks that might be available in the form of discs and sold locally.
         - National legal data banks established by the State (if found).
         - Legal data banks for Arab texts and references.
         - Foreign data banks which would be available on discs.
         - Foreign data banks available on the Internet, whether free of charge or by subscription.
         - Links on portals that include legislative studies or texts.
  2. A Legal Database on Criminal Legislation that shall be related to the IT system to be designed by the Project and adopted by the Public Prosecution Offices. This database would be placed at the disposal of public prosecution members in order to build their capacities and to provide them with modern working tools.
    The formation of the data banks will enable the collection and storage of legal and penal data within a computerized source of information that covers topics related to criminal affairs and that allows the restoration of information. Some databases could be produced on CD-ROMS and distributed to the concerned parties who can access the data at their convenience. The contemplated types of databases are:
        a) A bibliographic jurisprudential database of the national penal jurisprudential references
        b) A bibliographic jurisprudential database of some fundamental Arab and international penal references
        c) A database of legal texts that include the complete texts of fundamental laws related to the penal code
        d) A jurisprudential database that includes penal rulings selected according to specific standards
    The legal data bank shall be in Arabic, except in some instances where references will be kept in their original language.
  3. A website that would represent an information outlet about the Project and would be accessible to all interested parties. It would provide those parties with accurate information and documents, and enable them to communicate on national, regional and global levels. This tool would ultimately benefit all public prosecution offices in the Arab region and internationally.
    The website shall mainly perform the following functions:
         1. Informative
    The website shall represent an information outlet through which the world can be informed about the Project. It would help circulate the Project's benefits to:
    - Arab countries that were not directly involved in the project;
    - Apparatuses, other than public prosecutions, involved in combating crimes; and
    - Public prosecution offices which did not participate in the Project but are located in the pilot countries (considering that the project has dealt with a select number of public prosecution offices in each pilot country).
         2. Educational
    The website shall play an important educational role as it ensures the continuity of the educational process, which is crucial to the success of the Project. This continuity shall be accomplished by enabling the interested parties to quickly and easily acquire information that they need.
         3. Communicative
    The website will allow the circulation and the sharing of knowledge, as well as the transfer of expertise among public prosecution members, between public prosecution members and civil society organizations, and between public prosecution members and the international community.
2. Promoting cooperation between public prosecution offices and civil society organizations

Civil society organizations (CSOs) play an effective role in the promotion of human rights and in the fight against crime.
For this reason, the Project aims to promote the cooperation between public prosecution offices and CSOs by:
1- Building and promoting communication avenues between the two parties.
2- Promoting the contribution of CSOs to the fight against crime by strengthening their capacities through training programs and knowledge building.
3- Promoting and reinforcing human rights principles that a large number of CSOs are attempting to disseminate.
4- Advancing the establishment of needed organizations in case they do not exist.

3. Promoting cooperation between public prosecution offices and the international community

The international community plays an important role in the fight against crime, in particular transnational organized crimes, and in the promotion of human rights.

For this reason, the Project aims to promote the cooperation between public prosecution offices and the international community by building and promoting collaboration and cooperation avenues between the two parties.

4. Law Reform

Law reform studies have demonstrated that the existing criminal laws of many Arab countries do not meet the needs of the countries in question. Many of them need to change or modernize their current criminal laws in order for these laws to comply with modern international systems and concepts such as transnational organized crimes, respect for human rights, etc.

The Project aims to:
1. Modernize existing criminal laws in conformity with modern international systems and concepts
2. Advance new laws, when deemed necessary
3. Propose the unification of a country’s criminal laws into one law