Tenth Pakistan Prosecution Forum (PPF) underscores the 'gatekeeping' role of prosecutors for building stronger trials through police-prosecution coordination mechanism

25 February 2021, Islamabad - The Tenth PPF meeting organized by the UNODC on 25 February in Islamabad, marked a step forward in the evolutionary process of strengthening the quality of investigation through enhancing the ‘gatekeeping’ role of prosecution and ‘investigative’ role of the police. The PPF had brought together senior leadership from the rule of law stakeholders, ensuring representation from prosecution and police from across the provinces.

The PPF presented a unique convergence platform and opportunity to discuss and share perspectives, particularly with respect to arriving at a broader consensus on how to take forward the recommendations made by UNODC on the investigator-prosecution coordination mechanism (informed by the earlier workshop of 04 – 05 February on Investigator-Prosecutor Coordination). The participants agreed that the right to fair trial is a fundamental, constitutional right belonging to every citizen of Pakistan; which extends not only to criminal charges encompassing the accused and the victim but also to civil rights and obligations.

The PPF agreed that in our criminal justice system, a complainant or a victim is usually at the mercy of ill-prepared First Information Reports (FIRs) and investigation whereby the conviction rate stands as a testament to this fact. Given this mutual understanding the participants of the PPF, in addition to other items on the agenda, reached a consensus to endorse and pilot test the prescribed model framework of Investigator-Prosecutor Mechanism by UNODC through signing-up an MoU between the police, levies (in case of Balochistan province only) and prosecution departments at the provincial levels and developing corresponding SOPs. It was also decided to get technical help in reviewing the current legislation and propose amends to make it more responsive to better coordination. 

The Forum also discussed the role of digitalization to speed up efficiencies in the criminal justice sector, and the findings of a preliminary review by UNODC on the prospects of setting up and embedding a Case Management and Monitoring System (CMMS) were also shared. The PPF reached  an agreement to follow up through a more rigorous approach of assessing the procedural flows and system requirements in relation to customization and identifying the scope of the CMMS to make it more intuitive and effective for supporting informed decision-making as well as enhancing transparency and accountability of the criminal justice institutions.

The PPF provided a great opportunity for inter-provincial exchange of experiences and challenges, reflection and consensus building on areas of mutual interest with a particular focus on prosecution and police.


The Pakistan Prosecution Forum is generously supported by the British High Commission.