Integrity Watch: The Attorney General’s Office Should Establish a Prosecution Service Commission to Overcome Corruption in its Recruitment Cycle

July 29, 2020, Kabul—Integrity Watch calls upon the Attorney General Office to adopt an accountable, efficient and contextually appropriate mechanism that covers the entire recruitment cycle of prosecutors’ recruitment. A policy brief published by Integrity Watch today analyzes the proposed model of recruitment of new prosecutors in the draft of Law on Structure and Authorities of Attorney General Office and presents an alternative functional model complying with international standard that is immune to corruption while emphasizing the need for additional fundamental reforms.

Mr. Sayed Ikram Afzali, Executive Director of Integrity Watch, said, “We welcome the amendment of the Law on Structure and Authorities of Attorney General Office (AGO) as a step forward. However, the recruitment mechanism in AGO should meet international standards and cover the entire recruitment cycle.” Mr. Afzali emphasized that the model proposed by AGO suffers several flaws. “It fails to cover the entire recruitment cycle and is only limited to recruitment of new prosecutors. It also suffers from a shoddy oversight mechanism for recruitment and the proposed presence of only one representative of the civil society only during two of the four important stages of the recruitment process is less likely to provide robust oversight.”

The Attorney General Office started amending the Law on Structure and Authorities of Attorney General Office in early this year partly because of its commitment to fight corruption to the international community and Open Government Partnership. While the draft of the law is more elaborated compared to the current effective law, its chapter on inherent affairs of prosecutors fails to address the high rate of corruption in AGO.

Ziafatullah Saeedi, Advocacy Officer of Rule of Law at Integrity Watch, said “AGO should establish a Prosecution Service Commission that would help it in successfully tackling corruption in the entire recruitment cycle.” The Commission should manage recruitment of new prosecutors as well as promotion, demotion, dismissal and retirement of current prosecutors. He added, “Members of such an independent commission could be drawn from retired and/or senior judges and prosecutors, senior experienced members of legal profession.”

Mr. Afzali suggested that the AGO is in need of additional fundamental reforms. These reforms should include, but should not be restricted to, the selection of a trustworthy and competent Attorney General through a competitive and transparent process before approval by the Lower House, the establishment of an independent ombudsperson whose office would provide effective oversight of all workings of the AGO’s office, and further measures to ensure the AGO’s financial independence, freedom from political interference, neutrality and impartiality in its work.

Click here for Sayed Ikram Afzali’s vedio clip
Click here for Ziafatullah Saeedi’s vedio clip

For inquiry and further information, please contact Ziafatullah Saeedi at 0747600396/ z.saeedi@integritywatch.org