2nd Two-Day Workshop on Minnesota Protocol For Public Prosecutors in Nepal

From 29 to 30 September 2018, the ICJ convened a 2nd two-day workshop on application of international law and standards, remarkably focusing on the Minnesota protocol, with special reference to investigation of alleged unlawful killings and enforced disappearances for public prosecutors of Nepal.

The workshop was organized by the ICJ South Asia office and took place as part of the ICJ’s Global Redress and Accountability Initiative, “increasing the knowledge and capacity of lawyers, prosecutors and investigators to deal with challenges of impunity and access to redress.”

The participants of the workshop included 18 public prosecutors working in District Government Office in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchok, Nepal.

The event started with opening remarks by the Attorney General of Nepal and former minister of Law and Justice, Agni Kharel.

In the opening remarks, Agni Kharel highlighted both commitments made and efforts by the Nepal government in order to protect and promote human rights as well as justice for victims of human rights violations.

Expressing pleasure on the theme of the workshop, he also said the public prosecutors will be benefited as well as be competent to use the knowledge and learning from the workshop in their works.

Senior Legal Consultant of the ICJ Nepal – Govinda Bandi, one of the experts of the workshop and speaker of the opening ceremony, highlighted the objectives of the workshop.

Kingsley Abbott, Senior International Legal Adviser at the ICJ, presented an overview of the relevant international human rights legal framework that applies to the investigation of alleged killing and enforced disappearances.

He further presented an introduction and overview of the revised Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (2016) and ICJ practitioners Guide no. 9.  Both instruments were core materials used at the workshop.

Other speakers included Govinda Bandi, Senior Legal Consultant at the ICJ, who presented on the relevance of the Minnesota protocol in investigating on alleged unlawful killing and enforced disappearances.

Prof. Dr. Hariwar Wasti, Medico-legal expert at the IOM Department of Forensic Medicine of Government of Nepal, presented a power point presentation on the role of forensics in the investigation of gross human rights violations with reference to the Minnesota Protocol.

The workshop focused on investigation techniques of alleged unlawful killings highlighting the significance of public prosecutors in Nepal.

It was also focused on collection and preserving the security of evidences and potential use of the evidences for victims’ right to justice and reparation.

The workshop also covered medico-legal documentation techniques of crime scene and dead wearing tie body, collection of DNA evidence, and drafting of autopsy reports and crime file management.

It was also discussed and outlined some approaches of using the Minnesota protocol in Nepal in the final session of the workshop.

This workshop followed the national workshop the ICJ hosted between 13 to 14 July 2018 in Dhulikhel, Nepal on the investigation of alleged unlawful deaths and enforced disappearances for more than 20 human rights lawyers from diverse regions of Nepal.

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