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February 01, 2010

Culture of Lawfulness Training for Panamanian Police

February 2010

 In mid-January, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) Panama program conducted a week-long workshop for 45 representatives from the National Police, the Public Ministry, the Forensic Medicine Institute and the judiciary. The Panama City training emphasized the role of police and other officials in promoting a culture of lawfulness within the Panamanian justice sector. Some participants were designated trainers and will replicate the workshop for police officers in the future.

During the workshop, a draft version of an ABA ROLI-developed reference manual on protecting and preserving crime scenes was introduced. The pocket guide provides step-by-step procedures and underscores the need to respect due process and human rights. Participants reviewed the manual and provided commentary, which will be incorporated into the final version. 

The training’s agenda tracked the topics presented in the manual, and included both theoretical discussions of lawfulness and practical skills training on crime scene investigation, chain of custody issues and police testimony. Through these activities, participants gained a greater understanding of how their daily work should promote a culture of lawfulness.

In Panama, ABA ROLI trains police, attorneys, judges and civil society on their roles and responsibilities within the criminal justice system. Our work aims to better protect human rights and to help guarantee due process under the country’s new, adversarial system.

To learn more about our work in Panama, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at [email protected]