Inspector invited to talk on policing complaints and oversight in Russia
In November 2011 CJI was asked by the Council of Europe to deliver a series of seminars as part of a programme on the monitoring and handling of complaints against the police to be delivered in the North Caucasus Federal District of the Russian Federation.
The Council of Europe considered the work CJI had published on complaints and police oversight to be of particular relevance to the emerging situation in the Russian Federation which was attempting to strengthen police oversight mechanisms. Having led CJI’s thematic inspection on complaints and those into the office of the Police Ombudsman Bill Priestley was selected to deliver the presentations.
The programme was organised through the Commissioner on Human Rights in the Russian Federation and followed the passing of new federal laws governing oversight and operation of the police in Russia. It took place over a two-day period in the city of Pyatigorsk in Southern Russia and delegates included leaders of policing, human rights and oversight bodies in many of the republics of the North Caucasus region including Dagestan, Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic.
CJI’s input to the programme consisted of three separate presentations:
1. Building confidence through civilian oversight of police – the Northern Ireland context
2. Enabling effective civilian oversight of complaints against the police
3. Future developments in police oversight
A second Council of Europe expert outlined the oversight system in operation in the Netherlands and delegates were able to compare and contrast the outcomes experienced by police and citizens within the differing oversight systems. A third expert delivered supporting presentations on human rights obligations and international standards on police oversight.
After two days of intensive seminars and workshops delegates presented their initial plans to introduce oversight mechanisms in conformance with the new Russian federal law and the international standards.