DCI Asker Husain visits Monitoring Unit in Pakistan
DCI Asker Husain was invited to Pakistan by the country’s top criminal justice delegates, to offer his expert advice on the workings of their equivalent body to HMCPSI – the Monitoring Unit.
This was his second official visit to Pakistan. The first took place in February 2015, where he was invited to make a key note speech at the Prosecutors Conference, and also spent time with key stakeholders and the Monitoring Unit to gain an understanding of how they worked and to give recommendations on how the monitoring system could be improved.
The DCI was invited back to Pakistan to observe and feed-back on the improvements that had been made since his last visit and asses the progress made in respect of his recommendations.
DCI Asker Husain said:
“I was very pleased to see that the Monitoring Unit had made some considerable progress in some key areas, and had taken on board all of my key recommendations.
“I was particularly pleased that they had agreed to undertake more qualitative inspections so they could assess in a more comprehensive and meaningful way, the quality of the prosecutors’ work, rather than simply undertaking quantitative inspections which concentrated on measuring output. This was not the most efficient use of their limited resources, and did not provide a commentary on what was working well, and where improvements would need to be made.”
The Pakistani authorities had also taken on board the recommendation to set up an independent inspectorate, which is a huge step forward from where they were in February 2015.
However, the DCI also pointed out that even though the necessary legislation to make the Monitoring Unit independent is being drafted, there is still a lot of work to be done. He was also able to show examples of reports produced by HMCPSI, and talk them through the various stages that HMCPSI follow.
While inspections had been a relatively low priority in the past, the various stakeholders and policy makers that the DCI met, which included the Home Secretary and the Chief Prosecutor, have now recognised the importance and benefits of having an independent inspectorate.