ISLAMABAD - The prosecutors must be empowered to fulfil their professional duties in an independent, impartial and objective manner, said Prosecutor General Sindh Shahadat Awan.

He expressed these views in the certificate-awarding ceremony at the conclusion of a one-week refresher course on the “Role of Law Officers vis-a-vis Quick Disposal of Criminal cases” for law officers (prosecutors) from all over Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Blatistan here in the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA) on Saturday.

Shahadat Awan said that the public confidence in the criminal justice system is eroded whenever the public perceives that prosecutors are not performing their duties in an impartial, professional and equitable manner or that the private interests influence the performance of those duties.

Terming the prosecutor as a ‘pillar of the criminal justice system,’ he said, “Prosecutors play a key role for the work undertaken by the judiciary. Their status and role has evolved considerably in the recent years. The responsibility of prosecutors is to promote and strengthen the rule of law, including through combating impunity and ensuring the lawfulness of the state actions. Modern protection services place important emphases on sound ‘case management practices’, strategic planning performance-based standards, effective use of modern technologies and sustained cooperation with the law enforcement agencies. The overall objective of criminal policy is, to reduce crime and increase the sense of security that people experience.”

He said, “The prosecutors must contribute towards the achievement of this objective by ensuring that the perpetrators of crimes are called to account for their actions in a legally correct and most effective way. Public trust and confidence in the prosecutorial function depends on the capacity of its service to deliver on these expectations. Integrity and impartiality of prosecutors are critical to public confidence in the criminal justice systems.

“Because of the dynamic nature of transitional crime and terrorism, prosecution service must consistently refine and perfect their strategies, that is why we commend and say that this refresher course conducted by Federal Judicial Academy is a national service and great contribution towards dispensation of justice in Pakistan”, he noted.

He said, “Rule of law is a fundamental element of any successful society. However, our judicial system pledges to uphold the rule of law and our Judiciary has proved that no man is above the law, and no man is below it.”

Earlier, the DG of the Academy as per practice presented his welcome speech, an overview of the course and a profile of the learned top law officer of Sindh province. Sounding his optimism about the refresher course he said that it would be highly beneficial for the learned course participants in the field.

Aqsa Iram, Assistant District Public Prosecutor Pakpattan, spoke on behalf of the course participants and lauded the efforts of the faculty for designing such a highly productive refresher course for the prosecutors.