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National Prosecution Authority (NPA) Hosts International Conference of Prosecutors Focusing on Prosecutorial Independence

Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information Download logo

More than 400 senior prosecutors, including heads of prosecuting agencies from 83 countries, have descended in Johannesburg to attend the 23rd Annual General Meeting and Conference of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) at the Sandton Convention Centre (SCC), from 9 – 13 September 2018. The conference, hosted under the leadership of acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Silas Ramaite SC will be opened with a keynote address by the Minister of Justice & Correctional Services, Michael Masutha on Monday 10 September.

The hosting of the IAP conference in South Africa in 2018 is particularly significant and appropriate, considering that this is the year that the NPA celebrates 20 years of existence since it was established in October 1998. Further, this year South Africa celebrates the centenary of our icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a shining beacon of justice and democracy.

The theme of the conference is “Prosecutorial independence – the cornerstone of justice to society”. The theme is not only relevant in the current reality of the NPA in South Africa, but it is clear that it is a concept that occupies space in all democracies, old and new, across the globe.

The IAP Annual Conference is a productive forum for greater international cooperation among prosecutors, sharing international legal and prosecutions best practice. It also facilitates for greater speed and efficiency in mutual legal assistance, asset tracking and other international cooperative measures.

Plenary discussions will traverse various perspectives and experiences by esteemed speakers in the industry, as follows:

Plenary 1: Politics and Independent Prosecution

The plenary session will discuss a variety of established models and constitutional arrangements with a view to a comparative discussion of the pros and cons of how to avoid undue political influence in prosecution.

Plenary 2: Managing Prosecution Services-between Accountability and Individual Autonomy

To discuss the internal organisation of prosecution services and how to arrange them to ensure accountable prosecution. Structures of hierarchy, internal rules, codes of conduct, disciplinary rules, career management, appraisal mechanisms and professional training and development.

Plenary 3: Protecting the Individual Prosecutor

The plenary will focus on the serious pressures that prosecutors have to face - from lawyers, colleagues, other state agencies, politicians and from the media – and will strive to raise awareness of the pressures and the threats; and to discuss what good practices are available to counter them, to ensure independent prosecutions.

Plenary 4: Independent Prosecution and Confidence in the Eyes of the Public

The plenary session will focus on the essential relationship between the prosecution and the public, and the central role that public perception and the media play in influencing the independence of prosecutions.

Media Accreditation

Members of the media are invited to attend the closing session of the conference and media briefing on the outcomes of the conference at Exhibition Hall 2 at the SCC, on Thursday 13 September at 15h00.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.

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