Best Practices for Building Investigative Capacity in Developing or Post-Conflict Countries

19 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2015

See all articles by Fiona Mangan

Fiona Mangan

International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL)

Vivienne O'Connor

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 2012

Abstract

Police in developing or post-conflict countries are often inadequately trained in criminal investigation methods and processes. It can be a challenge for police in these countries to investigate even a simple case of robbery, let alone murders or complex cases like trafficking in persons. In many such countries, confession-based evidence continues to be relied on, almost exclusively, to secure a conviction. In many instances, confessions are extracted through torture, duress or mistreatment, which raises a whole slew of related human rights issues.

Assistance to nascent police forces in increasing their criminal investigation capacity has been a big part of international assistance to developing and post-conflict countries. While there have been successes, there have also been some severe critiques of assistance programs for their failure to deliver evidence-based success stories, tangible outcomes and improvements in police practices. Commentators have also criticized the standard approach to building police investigative capacity, which has been to focus on 'train and equip' projects, without assessing their efficacy, addressing true needs, or providing culturally-relevant instruction or equipment. Moreover, international assistance providers have shied away from documenting failures through comprehensive and honest monitoring and evaluation, which has inhibited the international community's ability to learn from and improve its assistance.

This research memo gathers the field experience of INPROL's Police Council of Experts, generous contributions from work of INPROL members, and lessons from limited available literature, with the aim of distilling potential good practices and discussing prospective pitfalls in seeking to improve investigative capacity in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

Mangan, Fiona and O'Connor, Vivienne, Best Practices for Building Investigative Capacity in Developing or Post-Conflict Countries (July 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2665655 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2665655

Fiona Mangan

International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL) ( email )

International Network to Promote the Rule Of Law
c/o United States Institute of Peace
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Vivienne O'Connor (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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