Signing of a joint Work Programme with the Senegalese Judiciary

The Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Christian Lange, MdB, and the State Secretary of the Senegalese Ministry of Justice, Aïssé Tall, during the signing of the joint work programme at the Senegalese Ministry of Justice (photo: BMJV)
The Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Christian Lange, MdB, and the State Secretary of the Senegalese Ministry of Justice, Aïssé Tall, during the signing of the joint work programme at the Senegalese Ministry of Justice (photo: BMJV)
Senegal

On 18 February 2020 the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), Christian Lange, MdB, and the State Secretary of the Senegalese Ministry of Justice, Aïssé Tall, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the legal cooperation between Germany and Senegal.
The work programme provides for an increased cooperation in criminal law, the penal system and basic and further training for judges, public prosecutors and other members of the justice system.

IRZ has been active in Senegal as its first partner state in Sub-Saharan Africa since 2019. The Memorandum of Understanding will further strengthen the cooperation of IRZ with its Senegalese partners.

IRZ carried out the seminar “Supporting reforms in the Senegalese criminal law and combatting organised crime“ in partnership with the Senegalese Ministry of Justice as part of the signing of the work programme.

The event focussed on the following topics, amongst others:

  • criminal reforms and challenges in combatting organised crime
  • national and international legal framework conditions for the fight against organised crime in Germany and the cooperation between the competent authorities
  • combatting money laundering and drug and human trafficking

Stefan Schlotter from the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt and Thomas Junge from the Office of the Public Prosecutor General in Berlin facilitated the seminar on the part of IRZ.

IRZ will intensify its work in Senegal this year. Further seminars are planned, for instance, to support reforms in criminal law and the penal system as well as with regard to the independence of the judiciary.

First seminar in Dakar on “Criminal law and relaxing imprisonment conditions”

During the seminar
During the seminar
Senegal

On 5 December 2019, the IRZ organised its first seminar in the Senegalese capital Dakar on “Criminal law and relaxing imprisonment conditions”. The event was organised in partnership with the department of criminal law and pardons at the Senegalese Ministry of Justice and financed by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection as part of the bilateral cooperation.

Andreas Stüve, Senior Public Prosecutor at the Düsseldorf Public Prosecutor’s Office, and Pascal Décarpes, International Consultant on Prison Management, represented the IRZ as experts at the event.

The seminar provided an opportunity for exchange on the basics of the Senegalese and German criminal law systems. The German speakers also presented the organisational structure of law enforcement authorities and the content of criminal investigations in Germany and discussed the various options for punishment (alternatives to prison sentences) with the participants.

Other subjects included the relaxation of imprisonment conditions and various models of suspended sentencing, which the IRZ experts presented using practical examples, including probation, conditional leave and open prisons.

The prison system in Senegal is currently facing some major challenges. There is massive overcrowding in Senegalese prisons. This is due to both a lack of infrastructure and frequently imposed long periods of imprisonment on remand. In addition, detention conditions often do not meet international standards. In this context, the participants showed a great deal of interest in learning about alternative forms of law enforcement.

Background information

In the area of criminal law, both the penal code and the criminal procedural law were comprehensively revised and updated in Senegal. The focus is currently on making criminal law operational and on bringing legal texts into line with international agreements. There is also a particular need to increase efficiency and accelerate criminal proceedings.

The IRZ will continue to work more intensively in Senegal over the coming year. The focus here will continue to be on supporting the reform process in the areas of criminal law and the prison system. Support for judges should also help to increase the independence of the justice system.

Multidisciplinary study visit to Berlin on criminal law, the prison system and judicial training

The Senegalese delegation attending talks at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection
The Senegalese delegation attending talks at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection
Senegal

From 11 to 15 June 2015, the IRZ welcomed a multidisciplinary delegation from Senegal to talks in Berlin. The study visit marked the start of the cooperation between the IRZ and the Senegalese justice system, which is being financed by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).

The Senegalese delegation was made up of representatives from the Ministry of Justice (Department of Criminal Law and Pardons), the Prison Authority and the Judicial Academy. The programme for the study visit was therefore suitably varied. The delegation was welcomed to talks at the BMJV, the Berlin Senate Administration for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-discrimination and at Social Services for Justice, Court and Probationary Matters. The subjects of judicial training and further training were discussed in more detail on a visit to the German Judicial Academy in Wustrau and issues relating to German law enforcement were brought to light during visits to the Moabit and Plötzensee prisons.

Senegal initiated some important reforms to the justice system some time ago. Both the penal code and the code of criminal procedure are being comprehensively revised and updated. The focus is currently on making criminal law operational and on adapting legal texts to bring them into line with international agreements.

When it comes to the prison system, the main focus is on relieving overcrowding and improving the reintegration of prisoners. The Senegalese guests were therefore interested in learning about alternative concepts such as open prisons and subjects including relaxing imprisonment conditions and alternative forms of punishment.

The IRZ is planning to continue and intensify its cooperation with Senegalese partners and, in particular, provide more support for the reform efforts in criminal law and prisons. To this end, an event is planned in Senegal for the second half of the year.