University General Assembly 1


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Country : Republic of Haiti Delegate : ADILLA RONISA University : UNIVERSITAS BENGKULU, INDONESIA Topic : Strengthening the rule of law and the reform criminal justice system (HAITI)

The problems with Haiti’s criminal laws are clear and have been known for many years. In the past, there have been several failed attempts to reform the criminal laws; however, none of these attempts went very far. According to those who have been involved in those efforts, something is different now and there are great hopes that this current process will be a success. One of the distinctions with this effort is that the law reform process has received high level political support from the president, the prime minister, the parliament, and from within the justice system, the legal community and civil society.

Haiti lacks a professional police force. Until very recently, the police were members of the armed forces who received no police training. Members were rotated in and out of the police and army; in some cases an officer literally had two uniforms hanging in a closet and would pick out the appropriate one -- police blue or military khaki -- depending on the month or the assignment. Haiti's police did not walk the beat, investigate crimes, or do other normal policing functions. Rather, they beat people, rode in trucks with high caliber weapons, and shot first and asked questions later, and then only to interrogate the poor person who fell into their hands about his or her presumed political opinions or activities. The police were for hire not only to the rich, but would arrest someone on a mere complaint based on flimsy evidence provided by a jealous neighbor, jilted lover, or ambitious farmer who wanted more water from the irrigation canal or a piece of pa...