UN probe slams Qatar’s justice system
A United Nations (UN) investigation into Qatar’s justice system has delivered a stinging critique to the wealthy Gulf state, concluding that prosecutors are not autonomous or well-trained enough, while foreign suspects face discrimination.
The probe, by UN investigator Gabriela Knaul, came on the back of an eight-day mission that was sanctioned by authorities in the country.
She also concluded that Qatar must allow defence lawyers to access evidence against their clients, that the country needs more lawyers, and there is a massive gender imbalance in the current number of judges.
Her recommendations also included establishing an ethical contract for judges, modernising away from handwritten minutes to avoid abuse, and providing better translations of documents for non-Arabic speakers.
Knaul added that her feedback has been “very well received” by officials in the country, but did not say whether they had been accepted.
UN or outsiders should not interfere other countries' matters.
As she said in her report:
“Unlike many other countries around the world, Qatar has the financial means to support important reforms and effectively implement a wide range of measures.”
It's not as if Qatar can use the excuse of developing nations that implementing reforms will be too costly or difficult. Qatar could easily be on the path to true reform by the end of the year. They have the money, but they lack the will. If anything it suits a lot of people here to know that expats, and in particular Asians, don't get access to fair justice.
That is true and sad... .Qatar needs to put more effort in making judicial system transparent and fair... regardless of gender, race or nationality.
What the Gulf Times claims she said:
"Qatar’s judicial independence hailed"
What she actually said:
“The executive’s interference in the work of the judiciary, particularly in cases involving high-level persons or businesses, is still a matter of concern,” she said.
Violations of due process and fair trial guarantees in the country, and the consequences that such violations often have on individuals’ lives and respect for their human right, were troubling, she said.
“I am particularly concerned at the situation of people in vulnerable situations, including women, migrants and domestic workers, who face additional hurdles when seeking to access justice,” said Ms. Knaul. She pointed to the reported discriminatory treatment of non-Qataris in the justice system, noting that the State is obliged under international human rights law to guarantee the right to a fair trial for all individuals within its jurisdiction regardless of nationality.
“I heard of a case where the defendant, a foreign national who did not speak Arabic, was made to sign a document in Arabic that included an admission of guilt. I also heard of cases where the defendant was not provided with interpretation during court hearings.
“Such obvious violations of due process are unacceptable, any document or testimony given in the absence of translation or interpretation should have no legal validity,” Ms. Knaul said, calling on authorities to take immediate measures to investigate seriously and redress violations of due process and fair trial.
She also highlighted the apparent lack of transparency and access to information in judicial proceedings, including during the investigation phase. To address this, she recommended that Qatar should, among other measures, urgently adopt modern technology tools, record all hearings, and publicise all judicial decisions and cases.
Why does the Gulf Times keep lying and writing false reports?
These type of hammers do not work everywhere .....
Tue, 04.02.2014 , 11.20 hrs ....