Building the Capacity of Criminal Justice Practitioners
Prosecutors, judges, defence counsel, law enforcement, correctional officials and other practitioners play crucial roles in countering the evolving and multifaceted nature of contemporary terrorism and violent extremism.
Foundational Rule of Law-Based Academic Curricula
Launched in 2020, the Academic Unit is an important addition to the IIJ capacity-building ecosystem, delivering longer-form, foundational courses for mid-level criminal justice practitioners and supporting rule of law-compliant counter-terrorism. Courses are tailored to the needs of each cohort of participants according to their language, legal tradition and context.
Addressing Contemporary & Emerging Threats
The threat of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism (REMVE) is growing rapidly. The UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee has reported a 320% increase in “extreme right-wing terrorism” globally in the past five years. Making this challenge particularly difficult to dismantle are transnational links between and among REMVE groups around the world, with the sharing of ideas, ideologies and tactics across borders.
Criminal justice practitioners play a crucial role in countering this threat within the rule of law: from identifying, investigating, disrupting and prosecuting REMVE cells, networks and lone actors, to incarcerating REMVE offenders, to providing prison rehabilitation programs, to post-release monitoring. While some experience gained from countering the threat posed by terrorist groups and inspired individuals is directly relevant to countering REMVE, there are also significant differences, requiring new knowledge, approaches, strategies and tools. Through our REMVE Initiative, the IIJ is working with practitioners to build capacity and develop tools to address this critical gap. The recently launched IIJ Criminal Justice Practitioner’s Guide: Addressing REMVE is an indispensable tool for practitioners and governments.
See the IIJ In Action: Juvenile Justice
THE FOUNDATION: INTERNATIONALLY-RECOGNISED GOOD PRACTICES
The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) brings together policymakers and practitioners from around the world to develop good practices, tools and strategies on how to prevent and counter the evolving terrorist threat.
The IIJ – a GCTF-Inspired Institution – actively supports the development, implementation and operationalisation of the GCTF good practices, integrating them with relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and other international and regional frameworks, for effective and sustainable capacity-building.
The GCTF’s Neuchâtel Memorandum on Good Practices for Juvenile Justice in a Counterterrorism Context provides guidance across five key areas:
- the status of children and their protection under international law and juvenile justice standards
- justice for children
- rehabilitation and reintegration
- capacity development, monitoring and evaluation
The IIJ played a key role in supporting the Governments of Switzerland and the United States in the development of the Neuchâtel Memorandum, endorsed by GCTF Members in 2016.
IIJ capacity-building supports practitioners in implementing these good practices
DEVELOPING IMPACTFUL CURRICULA BASED ON THE GOOD PRACTICES
Through our Core Initiatives & Workstreams that address contemporary and emerging challenges, and our longer-form Academic curricula focused on foundational skill-building, the IIJ ecosystem is supporting practitioners in the implementation and operationalisation of the GCTF good practices.
Established in 2015, the IIJ Juvenile Justice Initiative is directly supporting the implementation and operationalisation of the GCTF’s Neuchâtel Memorandum Good Practices through tailored capacity-building for criminal justice practitioners.
Our curricula integrates the GCTF good practices, as well as international juvenile justice standards, relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and other international and regional frameworks for a comprehensive approach.
Activities under this Initiative have received generous support from the Governments of Canada, Switzerland and the United States, and has included collaboration with organisations such as UNODC and UNCRI.
TAILORED, PRACTITIONER-FOCUSED CAPACITY-BUILDING
In a neutral, peer-to-peer learning environment, the IIJ brings together practitioners — at the international, regional and national levels — to share their experiences, build their capacity, and develop tailored responses based on these and other internationally-recognised good practices.
Since the inception of this Initiative, the IIJ has worked with criminal justice practitioners from more than 46 countries across Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans and Southeast Asia.
During 2020 – 2021, the IIJ worked with defence counsel, investigators, probation officers, rehabilitation and reintegration officers, social welfare officers, social workers, psychologists, investigators, and judges from 23 countries across the Sahel, the Middle East, North Africa, East Africa, the Balkans and Southeast Asia.
In addition, in 2021, at the request of Ethiopia, the IIJ designed and delivered national-level capacity-building workshops tailored to the needs of criminal justice practitioners in Ethiopia.
DEVELOPING STRATEGIC TOOLS TO SUPPORT PRACTITIONERS IN THE FIELD
The IIJ further supports practitioners through the development and publication of tools and resources. Our practitioner tools integrate and contexualise the GCTF good practices with case studies, country examples and other international resources, providing practitioners with tools to support their efforts to operationalise the good practices in their respective jurisdictions.
The IIJ Juvenile Justice Practitioner Notes — to be published in November 2021 — is a set of five sector-specific notes tailored for prosecutors, judges, investigators, defence counsels and detention officials. The IIJ Practitioners’ Notes draw on discussions, presentations and perspectives shared by practitioners in five IIJ-led regional workshops in 2018 and 2019, as well as input from key partners in the juvenile justice and counter-terrorism fields.
The draft notes served as the foundation for a series of capacity-building workshops in in 2019 and 2020. Following peer-review in 2021, the Notes were then compiled into a single resource document to further assist states in their efforts to operationalise the Neuchâtel Memorandum.
SUSTAINABLE IMPACT: A NETWORK SUPPORTING RULE-OF-LAW
IIJ Alumni become key partners in the GCTF and IIJ missions. Sharing the good practices, approaches and tools with colleagues, they are building a network of practitioners working to implement and operationalise effective rule of law-based approaches for addressing violent extremism and terrorism in their jurisdictions.
Sustainable Impact: IIJ Alumnae implementing the GCTF’s Neuchâtel Memorandum Good Practices
The IIJ Juvenile Justice Initiative is not only impacting the individual practitioners with whom we work, but it is delivering sustainable impact for national institutions. A recent example from Thailand: IIJ-led capacity-building on juvenile diversion programmes as an alternative to prosecution so changed the perspectives of two alumnae from Thailand that they were determined to share the benefits of their training with their fellow national prosecutors. Empowered by what they had learned, they took the initiative to translate into Thai action points from the new IIJ Prosecutors’ Juvenile Justice Practitioner Note, based on the Neuchâtel Good Practices. Then, they worked with the Department of Juvenile Litigation in Thailand’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to conduct training on juvenile diversion for 80 public prosecutors. By initiating this national-level training, these alumnae are not only paying forward the benefit of their IIJ training, but they are serving as ambassadors for the further implementation of the GCTF’s Neuchâtel Good Practices and the treatment of children in their jurisdiction.
Advisory Board Members
International Multilingual Team
Capacity Building Workshops & Courses
New Research Agenda