Foundation successfully concludes capacity building workshop for members of the Sri Lankan Police Service

Investigators from the Sri Lankan Police convened in Colombo for a three-day workshop on the Rule of Law and Law Enforcement

From 8 – 10 December 2022, the Foundation hosted a workshop focused on the promotion of human rights and scientific best practices in exercising police powers. It was organised in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Ministry of Public Security, with contributions from international experts including representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The workshop commenced with a discussion of the importance of human rights law, in particular international human rights law, for law enforcement officials when exercising their key functions. Verena Neundter, Regional Delegate for Police and Security Services at the ICRC examined this topic with reference to the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials. Foundation Research Fellows explored international best practices in promoting human rights during arrest and detention and when law enforcement officials interact with individuals from vulnerable groups.

Over the course of the next two days, Michel St-Yves, a forensic psychologist working with the behavioural analysis service of Quebec’s provincial police force (Canada), presented scientific best practices for interviewing victims, witnesses and suspects. During these sessions, participants were asked to consider how perception affects memory, the psychology of lying, and how to effectively build rapport during interviews to encourage information sharing. Mr St-Yves’ sessions neatly complemented the discussion of a human rights-based approach to policing by providing participants with effective tools to implement investigatory techniques without compromising human rights or legality.

This workshop was the Foundation’s first engagement with the Police in Sri Lanka and brings to a close the Advancing Institutional Capacity in the Sri Lankan Justice System project.