From June to November 2011, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) trained 437 Tajikistani law enforcement officers on the country's Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). The nationwide trainings focused on increasing trainees' knowledge of the code, which was adopted in April 2010, and on equipping participants with the practical skills they need to better implement it.
The CPC—a major step in the transition from an inquisitorial to an adversarial system—represents the most significant overhaul of Tajikistan’s criminal justice system since the Soviet era. It provides for defendants' right to counsel, streamlines the way law enforcement officers detain suspects and conduct investigations, and shifts the decision-making authority for pre-trial detention from prosecutors to judges.
As the code went into effect shortly after its adoption, time and resource limitations did not allow for law enforcement officers to be trained on the code prior to its implementation. To fill the ensuing gap, ABA ROLI cooperated with the Ministry of the Interior of Tajikistan to coordinate the training series. Trainers employed an interactive approach, encouraging participants to discuss topics relevant to day-to-day police work, such as the initiation of criminal proceedings, pre-trial detention procedures, preliminary investigations, judicial authorization of investigatory actions and the right to legal counsel.
Indicating that the members of the justice system that citizens come in contact with both initially and most frequently, Alisher Majitov, ABA ROLI's staff attorney, said, “Ensuring they [law enforcement officers] have a working knowledge of the law and citizens’ rights is vital to establishing the rule of law.”
The trainings are part of ABA ROLI’s criminal law program in Tajikistan, which is supported by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. As part of the program, ABA ROLI also trains prosecutors and defense attorneys on the CPC.
To learn more about our work in Tajikistan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.