The goal of this online forum is to facilitate discussions among Criminal Justice System experts from the OSCE participating States, OSCE executive structures and international and national organizations on the topic of holistic police reform within the reform of the wider Criminal justice System (CJS).
The reform of criminal justice systems has become a priority for the international community in its efforts to assist transitional and post-conflict societies in (re-)establishing the rule of law. Criminal justice system reform is also taking place in many mature democracies.
Since 1998, the OSCE’s police-related activities have become a key element of the OSCE’s contribution to these international efforts. OSCE’s achievements in improving the operational effectiveness of the police, however, have frequently been impaired by insufficient developments in the reform of the legal, judicial and corrections system; diminishing achievements in and the sustainability of police reform.
Consequently, establishing the rule of law requires not only law enforcement capacity and institution-building, but comparable and synchronized improvements across the entire criminal justice system. There is a need for comprehensive and holistic approach to police reform, which provides the basis for a harmonized and complementary approach within the OSCE among its various thematic components, as well as with OSCE’s international partner organizations and national stakeholders towards the wider criminal justice system reform.
In view of the above challenges and requirements for police reform in the context of the wider Criminal Justice System reform, and based on its mandates to assist the participating States in upholding the rule of law and enhancing key policing skills and to give “enhanced attention in its policies and activities to the key role of criminal justice systems […] and to take better into account the interaction between the components of those systems” (MC Dec. No. 5/06), the SPMU has embarked on developing a guidebook on good practices in the implementation of police reform programmes that follow a holistic approach to the general reform of the wider criminal justice system. This endeavour will be undertaken in close co-operation and consultation with other relevant executive structures of the OSCE, international and regional partner Organizations, as well as criminal justice system experts of the participating States, who are involved in the reform of criminal justice systems.
The online forum will facilitate the exchange of information among the criminal justice experts, which will contribute to the drafting of the new guidebook.
The online forum review of the second draft of the guidebook will be opened on 15 February 2013 and moderated by the SPMU.