UN member states welcome Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigative and Information Gathering Authorities

Two recent endorsements of the initiative to develop principles on effective interviewing underscore the demand for positive and practical guidance for the law enforcement and security sector.

UN Human Rights Council illustration photo (Photo: UiO)

UN Human Rights Council illustration photo (Photo: UiO)

Effective interviewing exemplifies that human rights are not anathema to security and sovereignty. On 23 March the UN Human Rights Council adopted the thematic resolution on torture (A/HRC/46/L.27): Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment: the roles and responsibilities of police and other law enforcement officials. In paragraph 11 the resolution Welcomes the collaboration between police and law enforcement practitioners, lawyers, human rights experts and other relevant stakeholders on the development of international guidelines on non-coercive interviewing and associated safeguards;”.

Improving criminal investigation processes

The resolution comes hot on the heels of the recent Kyoto declaration adopted by UN member states during the crime congress which took place 7-12 March 2021 in Kyoto. In paragraph 47 on Improving criminal investigation processes the member states agreed to “…continue to welcome the collaboration between practitioners, experts and other relevant stakeholders on the elaboration of a set of international guidelines for non-coercive interviewing methods and procedural safeguards in this regard;”

Supporting the fulfillment of UN Sustainable Development Goals

The recent resolution and declaration add to the momentum for the principles which will be launched in their entirety later this spring. Enhancing the core competencies the principles promote is key to achieve progress toward SDG 16.3 - promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.

Enhancing the fairness and efficiency of investigations

The principles provide positive and practical guidance on how to enhance both the fairness and efficiency of criminal investigations, interviews and information gathering. Effective interviewing is an understandable, affordable and practical approach to changing the conduct of law enforcement and security services.

After more than a decade of collaboration with law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, NCHR and the Norwegian Police University College have learned that whatever sensitivities exist in the field of law enforcement, intelligence and security, the sharing of practices and methods is a welcome and easily discussed topic.

NCHR extends its gratitude toward Dignity, the Norwegian and Danish Ministries of foreign affairs and their UN delegations for their invaluable support, patience and persistence with the declaration and resolution. Together with its partner the APT and ATI, NCHR looks forward to the launch of the principles this springs and the next steps in the process to secure adoption.

Tags: Rule of Law, Principles on Effective Interviewing, UNHRC, Police Training, CAT By Gisle Kvanvig
Published Apr. 7, 2021 1:10 PM - Last modified Apr. 7, 2021 1:10 PM