July 3, 2013

UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Overview

I.                   Established by ECOSOC

A.    Historical Background
1.      1946 - ECOSOC requested Social Commission (forerunner of the Commission for Social Development) to consider studying prevention of crime and treatment of offenders
a.       involved International Penal and Penitentiary Commission (IPPC)
2.      1950
a.       GA votes to move IPPC to UN
b.      Ad Hoc Advisory Committee of Experts  (7) created to advise SecGen
3.      1965 – (10 experts)  name changed to Advisory Committee of Experts on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders
4.      1971 – (15 experts) renamed Committee on Crime Prevention and Control
5.      1991 – (27 experts)
6.      February 1992 Commission formerly established
a.       based on Resolution 46/152 of December 18, 1991
b.      requested ECOSOC dissolve Committee on Crime Prevention and Control and establish Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
c.       at present - 40 members, size and geographic distribution reviewed every 2 years
(1)   Africa – 12
(2)   Asia – 9
(3)   Latin America – 8
(4)   W. Europe – 7
(5)   E. Europe – 4
B.     Experts
1.       from different backgrounds (prison administrators; lawyers; criminologists; economists; sociologists; cabinet rank government leaders)
2.      candidates nominated by Member States then elected by ECOSOC

II.                Goals  (see generally  paragraph 16 of the resolution 46/152 Annex)

A.    prevention of crime within and among States
B.     control of crime both nationally and internationally
C.     strengthening of regional and international cooperation in crime prevention, criminal justice, and the combating of transnational crime
D.    integration and consolidation of efforts of Member States
E.     efficient and effective administration of justice, with due respect for the human rights of all those affected by crime and all those involved in the criminal justice system
F.      promotion of the highest standards of fairness, humanity, justice and professional conduct

III.             Functions

A.       policy guidance in CPCJ
B.       develop, monitor and review UN CP programs
C.       facilitate interregional institutions in crime prevention
D.       mobilize support of member states
E.        prepare UN conferences on treatment of offenders

 IV.             Structure (CPCJ activities carried out by variety of UN mechanisms)

A.    Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division (CPCJD)
1.      Secretariat unit charged w/ policy formation
2.      repository for technical expertise
3.      direct services to requests
B.     UN Congresses on Crime Prevention and Treatment of Offenders
1.      intergovernmental forums for policy presentations of Member States
2.      held every 5 years since 1965
C.     Government-appointed National Correspondents
D.    UN Criminal Justice Information Network (UNCJIN)

E.     Other UN system institutes
1.      UNICRI – Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute
2.      UNAFEI – Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
3.      UNAFRI
4.      UNLAI
F.      NGOs

V.                 Some Proposals from the  6th session in 1997

A.       designing master plan for criminal justice system in Albania
B.       reform of the prison system in Kazakstan
C.       advice on combating corruption and organized crime in Macedonia
D.       improve criminal justice system in Angola

VI.             Current Issues

A.    UNDCP (UN Drug Control Program) and CPCJD merger
1.      UNDCP
(a)    large (250 staff)
(b)   focused specifically on narcotics
2.      CPCJD
(a)    much smaller (20 or so)
(b)   addresses broad range of criminal offenses outside scope of
narco-related crime
3.      fear that productive office culture of UNDCP will be destroyed
4.      created new UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention
B.     Budget shortfalls

1.      NRA was able to  spend more on its expert than CPCJD could on its entire study concerning gun control