Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2021. 4:00 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: Police prosecutors, primarily from the National Prosecution Branch, have completed a three-day Advanced Prosecutors Training, which was facilitated by the United States Embassy in Belmopan.
The Embassy explained that the training forms a part of the Comprehensive Justice Sector Capacity Building Program. This $1.7M USD program focuses on improving the capacity of police prosecutors, implementing a Court Case Management system, and supporting the National Forensic Science Service’s efforts to acquire international accreditation.
“The sessions, funded by the Department of State’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Bureau, provided comprehensive training on investigating and prosecuting criminal cases, including trial preparation, research methods, advocacy, and the examination of evidence, witnesses, and experts,” the Embassy said.
The workshop was attended by senior Government of Belize officials including Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser, Senior Crown Counsel in the Attorney General’s Ministry Stacy Martinez, and Head of the National Prosecution Branch Alifa Elrington. The sessions were facilitated by INL Prosecution Advisor Oladele Osinuga, British barrister Jerry Sodipe, and Belizean attorney Darrell Bradley.
“Maintaining a fair and autonomous judiciary requires strengthening the capacity of prosecutors through professional development in core legal skills. This training for prosecutors demonstrates the U.S. government’s ongoing commitment to improving Belize’s justice sector,” explained Mary Walz, the U.S. Embassy’s INL Coordinator.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Elrington noted that the workshop and initiatives like it are important in ensuring that prosecutors are up to date on laws and best practices to preserve the public’s trust and confidence in the administration of justice.
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