Home' Army News : February 16th 2012 Contents ADVISING DEFENCE FORCE PERSONNEL FOR OVER 29 YEARS
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Army February 16, 2012
Lt Adrian Miller
A SHURA brought together the main players in
Uruzgan's justice system at Camp Russell in Tarin Kot,
where the main parties agreed to meet regularly for
Warrant Coordination Shuras.
The shuras will be used to gather all parties in one
location to share evidentiary information. That informa-
tion will then be used in the development of evidence
packs, drafting of warrants and collection of evidence
to support prosecutions.
CO SOTG Lt-Col J said the meeting was the first step
in aligning and enhancing evidence-based operations.
"This initial meeting was held to lay the framework
to improve evidence collection and the production of
warrants so we, and importantly Afghan officials, can
detain people and present cases in a court of law," he
"We need to work closely with our Afghan partners
so that these processes are consistent with Afghan law
and work within Afghan governance systems."
Lt-Col J said the system would ensure evidence
needed to convict offenders was gathered.
"The collection of evidence is vital in the sustain-
ment of the Afghan legal system," he said.
"Currently, there is significant potential that known
insurgents are released due to the lack of prosecutorial
evidence against them. This system will ensure the right
type and quantity of evidence is gathered to assist in
prosecuting offenders under Afghan law."
Lt-Col J said discussions on Afghan rule of law
would become more important as transition from
operations based on International Security Assistance
Force intelligence to ones based on Afghan evidence
"We want to move to a situation where our Afghan
partners play the lead role and our soldiers assist them
to get insurgents before a court of law and into jail," he
"The goal is to bring safety and security to Uruzgan
and we have to do that through the rule of law."
Lt Adrian Miller
THE SOTG is aiming for
more than combat success in
Afghanistan with an Afghan
Judges, Prosecutors and Police
Course facilitated by the
SOTG's Rule of Law Cell in
collaboration with Afghan stake-
The course was designed to
improve coordination between
justice officials in Uruzgan prov-
ince by increasing the evidentiary
understanding between the police,
prosecutors and judges.
SOTG legal officer Maj D said
the course helped strengthen the
Afghan legal system.
"Courses such as this aim
to ensure greater coordination
between Afghan police, prosecu-
tors and judges, who all play a role
in gathering evidence," he said.
"This course provides them
with the fundamentals that each
country depends on to ensure their
rule of law works effectively."
Seventeen judges, prosecutors
and policemen graduated from
the nine-day course, with each
receiving certificates and reference
material to help them discharge
their evidentiary duties.
"They can now put the skills
they've learnt on this course into
practice and gather enough evi-
dence to ensure they achieve con-
victions," Maj D said.
"One of the main areas of con-
cern previously has been their ina-
bility to collect the right sort of
evidence to ensure prosecution of
offenders. Hopefully these sorts of
courses will change that."
CO SOTG Lt-Col J said the
Rule of Law Cell would play an
important role as Australian forces
transitioned out of Uruzgan prov-
ince in the coming years.
"Once transition occurs the
Afghans will need to execute their
own warrants and will need to col-
lect their own evidence in order to
bring individuals to prosecution,"
"By mentoring and training
those responsible for enforcing
the law in Uruzgan, long-term
security is enhanced and the
indigenous justice system is ena-
bled to remove insurgents from
the battlefield via the policing and
Beyond the battle
Afghan justice officials develop law skills in SOTG-run course
Chain of evidence: Collecting, processing and managing evidence seized in raids will be crucial to the ability of Afghan authorities to
prosecute insurgents after international forces have left the country. Inset, a justice official is presented with reference material upon
completion of a course for Afghan judges, prosecutors and police.
Law and order: Afghan justice officials, SOTG
personnel and Australian Federal Police officers
meet to discuss warrants and evidence matters.
Photo by Cpl Raymond Vance
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