20th Nov 2017

Orientation to Court Officials on Victims Witness Protection

 


On December 11, 2015 one day orientation program was organized in Kathmandu for the court officials of Kathmandu District Court. Survivors/witnesses of human/kidney trafficking who come into contact with the criminal justice system are particularly vulnerable and require special measures be taken to ensure that they are appropriately assisted and protected by criminal justice processes. In the course of dealing with the court officials it is realized that such measures are lacking whereas victims and witnesses may be reluctant to provide information and evidence because of perceived or actual intimidation or threats to themselves or their family members. Therefore to address this lacking the orientation on victims witness protection was organized. Judges from Kathmandu District Court honorable Mr. Achyut Bista, honorable Mr. Tejendra Prasad Sharma and honorable Mr. Jayanand Paneru and Ms. Nandita Baruah, Deputy Country Representative of The Asia Foundation were the guests of the program. The program chaired by Mr. Rajendra Ghimire, Chairperson of PPR Nepal was participated by 30 court officials and lawyers.


In the orientation two papers were presented one by honorable judge Mr. Rajendra Kharel, Lalitpur District Court and the other by honorable judge Mr. Til Prasad Shrestha of Appellate Court of Patan. The first presentation discussed about the different aspects such as establishing victims friendly court environment, maintaining safety and security of the victims, addressing their needs and psycho-social well being, establishing victims friendly room within the court premises, provisions of closed hearing, confidentiality among others. Likewise, the other presentation discussed more about theoretical aspects with facilitator giving practical examples based on case studies. The facilitator started with his personal notion that the name Criminal Justice System itself is faulty because it should rather be Victim Justice System. Giving examples of cases the facilitator explained that in the international level for the safety and security of the victims and witnesses they are provided new name with new identity and at times relocated to different places but in the context of Nepal it is not possible. The participants of the orientation acknowledged that it has helped them to learn more about the needs of the victims/witnesses and how to assist and act/behave with them as they are very vulnerable.

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