Building momentum towards the finalisation of principles on effective interviewing

NCHR co-organises virtual event on “Improving efficiency and quality of investigations: Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigative Authorities” as an ancillary meeting of the UNODC Crime Congress in Kyoto, Japan.

NCHR partnered with Association to Prevent Torture (APT) in organizing the event March 7th, which was moderated by APT Secretary General, Barbara Bernath.

Public authorities as guardians of human rights

Opening the event, UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, Ilze Brands-Kehris highlighted the importance of effective interviewing and safeguards in upholding the role of public authorities as guardians of human rights. 

Deputy Director Division for Operations, UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), Candice Welsch spoke of the added value that evidence- and intelligence-led policing can have for criminal investigation, crime prevention, and the administration of justice. 

Investigative interviewing for sustainable development

In his welcoming remarks, Bernardo Stadelmann, Vice-Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Justice, highlighted the relevance of this initiative for the Sustainable Development Goals. He also welcomed the reference to the Principles in the Kyoto Crime Congress Declaration.

Juan Méndez, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee developing the Principles and former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2010-2016), provided the rationale for the Principles and described their content and structure.

Professor Becky Milne presented some of the evidence base behind non-coercive interviewing practices and explained how scientifically-grounded techniques support informed decision-making in the criminal justice system.

Sharing best practices

NCHR’s contribution concerned implementation and consisted of interviews and statements from Members of the Steering Committee and Advisory Council for the Principles –Solomon Arase, former Inspector General of Police in Nigeria; Lilian Stein, Professor of Psychology in Brazil; and Suzanne Jabbour, Chairperson of the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture.

Gisle Kvanvig of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, Nicolas Caruso of UNODC and Alexis Comninos of the APT shared some current and prospective initiatives for implementation of the Principles.

Supported by member states

UNODC experts – Tom Parker in Nigeria and Nawad Riaz in Khazakhstan – endorsed investigative interviewing techniques in brief video statements.

Closing the event, Jan Austad, Specialist Director for Crime Prevention at the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, restated Norway’s commitment to promoting non-coercive interviewing.

The NCHR would like to thank the co-organisers - UNODC, OHCHR, the APT and the Anti-Torture Initiative – for hosting such a rich event. NCHR is also thankful to Switzerland and Norway for their continued support.

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Tags: Investigative interviewing, Rule of Law, Universal Protocol, UNODC, APT, OHCHR, UN, RoL NCHR By Gisle Kvanvig
Published Mar. 23, 2021 10:52 AM - Last modified Mar. 23, 2021 10:52 AM