Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck, the President of the Bhutan National Law Institute (BNLI) graced the closing ceremony of the four-day training on investigation and prosecutorial skills to some 40 police prosecutors at the Royal Bhutan Police’s (RBP) mess in Thimphu, yesterday.

Her Royal Highness said that of all the law enforcing agencies, RBP is one of the most important agencies in the country and the RBP’s important responsibility to ensure community wellbeing, and peace and security in the country is appreciated.

Likewise, Her Royal Highness said that to implement and enforce the laws fairly, RBP has been collaborating with the other related agencies to effectively deliver legal services to the people.

While serving the people and the country, it is important to know that it is the sacred duty of all the Bhutanese to safeguard the sovereignty and security of the country, which is the primary goal of the police, Her Royal Highness added.

The foundation of democracy is the rule of law, therefore, whenever the law enforcing agency renders services to the people, it must do so equally and justly, Her Royal Highness said. “Equality and justice is one of the main principles of justice. Therefore, while serving the people and the country, one should abide by the code of conduct.”

Her Royal Highness said that in many countries, people do not have faith in the police system because of the lack of a code of conduct in their system and other challenges. Bhutan should not face these kinds of challenges and in order to avoid such challenges, it is important that the RBP works hard to maintain the confidence of the people in the police.

An official with the BNLI said that this is the third time the institute has organised a training on investigation and prosecutorial skills for police prosecutors. “The training is aimed at building cooperation among the law enforcing agencies to enhance access to justice.”

RBP lieutenant, Lethro said that the training session began on April 3 with an introduction to crime, its fundamental principles and salient features. RBP’s current practices of prosecutions and the challenges faced were also discussed.

Besides understanding the expectations of the courts or judges from the investigators or prosecutors, the training helped the trainees understand the importance of due process of law, legal consequences attached to any action taken contrary to the due process of law, Lieutenant Lethro said.

Resource persons from the High Court, Thimphu dzongkhag court, the Office of the Attorney General, the Anti-Corruption Commission, BNLI and RBP elaborated to the trainees an introduction to the criminal justice system with practical illustrations and the distinction between the civil and criminal justice system during the four-day training.

The participants also discussed negligence and its relevance in criminal jurisprudence and practical evidence, drafting of charge sheets, prosecution skills and techniques, identifying integrity and ethical issues, rights of the accused, police statements, duress or torture admission retraction, among others.

Police chief, Colonel Chimi Dorji, said that there is a need for the RBP prosecutors to develop their capacities to institute legal proceedings against the alleged suspects with the increasing number of people committing crimes.

Her Royal Highness awarded certificates to the participants that included seven police officers and 33 prosecutors from the dzongkhags and dungkhags.

Dechen Tshomo