On 16-18 July 2019, the IIJ convened in Malta a Sectoral Workshop for Prosecutors and Investigating Magistrates under the IIJ Juvenile Justice Initiative – one of eight IIJ Core Initiatives. The Sectoral Workshop was attended by 51 prosecutors, investigative judges and presenters from 22 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. The workshop provided a platform for these practitioners to examine and apply to national experiences the recommendations contained in the new IIJ Prosecutors’ Juvenile Justice Practitioners’ Note (IIJ Prosecutors’ Note) operationalising the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Neuchâtel Memorandum on Good Practices for Juvenile Justice in a Counterterrorism Context (Neuchâtel Memorandum).
During the interactive workshop, practitioners were introduced to the IIJ Prosecutors’ Note, which contains ten recommendations, each illustrated with examples from the countries served by the IIJ, on how prosecutors and investigative magistrates can operationalise the Neuchâtel Memorandum. The workshop also featured case presentations on topics addressed in the IIJ Prosecutors’ Note, including diversion, confessions by minors, and prosecutor-led investigations. Practitioners engaged in robust discussions during breakout sessions as they worked through four hypothetical scenarios based on common challenges faced by practitioners handling juveniles in conflict with the law in a counterterrorism context. The hypothetical scenarios tracked the recommendations in the IIJ Prosecutors’ Note and provided an opportunity for practitioners to discuss how their respective countries will use the Neuchâtel Memorandum’s good practices and the IIJ Prosecutors’ Note’s recommendations in their respective countries to protect the rights of the child and ensure that the best interests of the child is a primary consideration.
At the conclusion of the three-day workshop, participants shared their satisfaction with the various approaches they were offered to handle minors’ cases. Many practitioners showed eagerness to initiate changes in the policies and practices in place in their respective countries.
For more information on this workshop or the IIJ Juvenile Justice Initiative, please contact IIJ Program Manager Emerson Cachon.