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Quality Control in Criminal Investigation

New Delhi, 22-23 February 2019

Programme | Book QCPE 1 | Book QCPE 2 | Conference QCPE | Book QCFF | Book on old evidence | Book HOICL 5 |

This third leg of CILRAP’s broadly-based ‘Quality Control Project’ concerns the phase that encompasses criminal investigation and case preparation, that is, between the opening of criminal investigation and start of trial. As with the earlier legs – ‘Quality Control in Fact-Finding’ and ‘Quality Control in Preliminary Examination’ – the focus is on core international crimes, but it also includes perspectives from other fact-rich crime such as serious fraud and organised crime (human trafficking). This third phase is characterised by, inter alia, the deployment of substantial resources (including for personnel, missions and evidence handling), interaction of different professional groups (primarily investigators, prosecutors, analysts and forensic experts), fact-centred work-processes, and the prospect of judicial scrutiny of the file. The project is premised on the assumption that all investigation and preparation of fact-rich criminal cases can improve its quality control. This is a common challenge both in international and national jurisdictions.

The project zooms in on some systemic bottlenecks in the relevant work-processes, and asks whether we can improve the way we work. These bottlenecks include a) the long duration and high cost of many investigations of core international crimes; b) loss of overview of information and potential evidence; c) lack of clear focus in the building of the case; d) vague formulation of criminal responsibility even after the organisation has in its possession enough potential evidence; e) use of cumulative charges as part of a related precautionary approach; f) excessively long exhibit and witness lists; and g) disclosure to the defence of voluminous materials not clearly related to a central hypothesis of criminal responsibility. The project asks whether work-processes can be developed further to reduce the negative impact of such challenges. It seeks unbiased analysis and new ideas – not boxed in by any one jurisdiction – on how we can work better.

The conference programme reveals a structured approach with four main parts. Part I concerns ‘Evidence and Analysis’; Part II, ‘Systemic Challenges in Case-Preparatory Work-Processes’; Part III, ‘Investigation Plans as Instruments of Quality Control’; and Part IV, ‘Prosecutorial and Judicial Participation in Investigation and Case Preparation’. We are particularly interested in whether the use of existing quality-control instruments such as investigation plans, draft indictments, indictments and pre-trial briefs can be developed, and whether they should be supplemented by additional instruments.

The conference programme allows ample time for discussion on each paper. The main project outcome will be an anthology of papers based on the programme outline. A film on some quality-control themes will also be made.

The project is led by Mr. Xabier Agirre (Head of Investigative Analysis Section, ICC Office of the Prosecutor), Professor Carsten Stahn (Leiden University), and CILRAP Director Morten Bergsmo, in co-operation with the Indian Law Institute in New Delhi and its Director, Professor Manoj Kumar Sinha. Persons who are interested in contributing to the project should write to the CILRAP Director at bergsmo@cilrap.org. The project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

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