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Irish Rule of Law International trains police officers in child justice

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As one way of promoting the rule of law and increase access to justice for the citizens of Malawi, Irish Rule of Law International (IRLI) has trained 40 police officers in Ntchisi in proper treatment of child suspects and diversion.

Speaking during the opening of a two-day training at Shant Community Hall in the district, Ntchisi Police Officer-in-Charge, Assistant Commissioner Charles Kamzingeni, said the training is important because it will prepare police officers on how to deal with child suspects in terms of detention among many others.

He said police officers have a responsibility to handle issues of child justice in accordance with the Child Care, Protection and Justice Act 2010, particulary the proper treatment of child suspects and diversion.

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“Police officers have a big responsibility in handling child suspects and how to treat them. However, sometimes we fail to handle issues related to child suspects due to lack of proper training.

“This training is important to all police officers without considering branches of police because we have been equipped with knowledge on how to handle child suspects and treatment when they have been arrested for different offences,” said Kamzingeni.

IRLI Programme Lawyer Heath McCallum said the training focuses on rule of evidence on what information can be used in court proceedings, who can use it and how it can be used when dealing with child suspects.

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“The training comprises oral presentations, case studies and group work exercises. All presentations will be followed by a discussion forum for attendees to engage in an interactive question-and-answer session.

“Participants will learn about the trial process as well as how witnesses are allowed to deliver testimony, rules of admissibility, including exclusionary rules and judicial discretion. The training will also focus on the rules of evidence applicable in Malawi under Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code,” said McCallum.

IRLI is a joint initiative of the Law Society of Ireland and Bar Council of Ireland dedicated to promoting rule of law in developing countries and working in partnership with stakeholders in Malawi criminal justice system to deliver greater access to justice to the citizens of the country.

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