Building Judicial Capacity

Efficient, equitable and accessible justice systems are the lifeblood of the rule of law. For many years, building judicial capacity in the developing world was IDLO's sole area of intervention.

Today, while our mission and expertise has greatly expanded, we remain faithful to that early purpose. Building capacity in the judiciary is still the bulk of what we do, and what we are most recognized for. We do this in a variety of legal systems and traditions, working with local and international partners, with a strong emphasis on transition societies.

In the words of Kyrgyz Supreme Court Chair and IDLO interlocutor Feruza Z. Djumasheva, "Without successful judicial reforms, there will be no economic or social reform."

Bailiff Service Capacity Building

Tajikistan’s enforcement framework and practice is considered to be the poorest in the region according to an assessment by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).  Non-enforcement and lengthy delays of court decisions, particularly with regards to commercial matters, is a significant problem which affects investor confidence and, as a result, economic indicators.

Reforming the Kyrgyz Judiciary

IDLO has been working with the Kyrgyz Judiciary to support the establishment of a functional, credible and transparent legal system, since the adoption of the 2010 Constitution. Despite many positive developments, the rule of law sector has faced a number of problems – chief among them inadequate financing, which risks undermining judicial independence and makes access to justice a challenge, as well as transparency and accountability.

Commercial Law Judicial Training

In recent years, following a growth spur which made it the fastest growing economy in the world, Mongolia has experienced rapid economic and social downturn. Although the years of growth yielded wealth and investment, the country was unable to prepare for a recession due to corruption, inflation, distortion of the local economy and environmental degradation. One of the key obstacles to sustainable growth and development is the weak and poorly prepared judiciary.

Rule of Law Fund: Programmatic Framework

The Programmatic Framework for the Indonesia-Netherlands Rule of Law Fund builds on the Indonesian Government National Long-Term Development Plan (RPJPN 2005-2025) and continues the efforts of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Jakarta to support the consolidation of the rule of law and reform agenda. The RPJPN’s vision for a “just and democratic” country encourages development that ensures the rule of law is fair, consistent, non-discriminatory, serves the public interest and supports the continuation of democracy.

Strengthening Enforcement of Court Decisions in Mongolia

Mongolia’s rapid economic and social growth over the last few years is threatened by low-quality and unenforced court decisions. Despite a series of judicial reforms launched by the Government, Mongolia still lacks the legislative framework necessary to enforce court decisions or a strategy to address a growing caseload. Moreover, bailiffs’ inadequate legal knowledge and skills weaken the credibility and efficiency of the judiciary system and impede its proper functioning.

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Key Initiatives

  • The Constitution of Kenya requires the Government to facilitate access to justice for all citizens, as it remains a critical pillar for poverty reduction and sustainable development. To this end, IDLO has been supporting the Kenyan judiciary since April 2012 to strengthen its capacity to administer and enhance access to justice for all Kenyans.

  • As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief for the project, "Enhancing the Capacity of the Legal Professional in Somalia for the Delivery of Justice". The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Impact Assessment Unit.

  • Since the Maidan Revolution of 2013-2014, Ukraine has worked to reform the judiciary, including the judgement enforcement system for commercial matters. As in many transition countries, non-enforcement of commercial court decisions in Ukraine remains a key problem, affecting not only investor confidence, but also the functioning of the entire judiciary.

  • Despite significant donor assistance and a marked improvement over the past decade, Afghanistan's justice institutions still suffer from a severe lack of capacity across a range of basic competencies. These deficiencies persist due to a variety of factors, including the high turnover of staff in justice sector institutions and a lack of focus on developing the internal capacity of institutions to manage their own professional development.

  • The criminal justice system in the Philippines experiences poor coordination among agencies, particularly police and prosecutors. Currently, there is a shortage of prosecutors to take criminal cases to trial in the Department of Justice (DOJ), and many of those who serve on behalf of the people require support in order to perform their duties with a high level of necessary knowledge, skills and ethics.

  • Tajikistan’s enforcement framework and practice is considered to be the poorest in the region according to an assessment by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).  Non-enforcement and lengthy delays of court decisions, particularly with regards to commercial matters, is a significant problem which affects investor confidence and, as a result, economic indicators.

  • IDLO has been working with the Kyrgyz Judiciary to support the establishment of a functional, credible and transparent legal system, since the adoption of the 2010 Constitution. Despite many positive developments, the rule of law sector has faced a number of problems – chief among them inadequate financing, which risks undermining judicial independence and makes access to justice a challenge, as well as transparency and accountability.

  • In recent years, following a growth spur which made it the fastest growing economy in the world, Mongolia has experienced rapid economic and social downturn. Although the years of growth yielded wealth and investment, the country was unable to prepare for a recession due to corruption, inflation, distortion of the local economy and environmental degradation. One of the key obstacles to sustainable growth and development is the weak and poorly prepared judiciary.

  • The Programmatic Framework for the Indonesia-Netherlands Rule of Law Fund builds on the Indonesian Government National Long-Term Development Plan (RPJPN 2005-2025) and continues the efforts of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Jakarta to support the consolidation of the rule of law and reform agenda. The RPJPN’s vision for a “just and democratic” country encourages development that ensures the rule of law is fair, consistent, non-discriminatory, serves the public interest and supports the continuation of democracy.

  • Mongolia’s rapid economic and social growth over the last few years is threatened by low-quality and unenforced court decisions. Despite a series of judicial reforms launched by the Government, Mongolia still lacks the legislative framework necessary to enforce court decisions or a strategy to address a growing caseload. Moreover, bailiffs’ inadequate legal knowledge and skills weaken the credibility and efficiency of the judiciary system and impede its proper functioning.

  • Terrorism trials in Somalia have overwhelmingly been conducted in military courts under military laws that do not afford rights to the accused as enshrined in international human rights law or the Somali Provisional Constitution. Recognizing the weakness of the current system and the security threat posed by Somalia’s overloaded prison capacity, the Government of Somalia has decided to move the bulk of the current serious crimes caseload and all future caseloads to the civilian criminal court system.

  • IDLO is supporting the training departments of the Myanmar Union Attorney General’s Office (UAGO) and the Office of the Supreme Court of the Union (OSCU) to strengthen their capacity development strategies. The long-term goal is to help justice sector institutions implement their strategic priorities of modernizing training programs by improving the knowledge, skills and abilities of judges, law officers and court staff, and enhancing their professional development.

  • As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief (summarised evaluation report):  “Commercial Law Judicial Capacity Building in Mongolia

  • As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief (summarised evaluation report):  “Enhancing the Capacity of the Judiciary of South Sudan”. The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Impact Assessment Unit. This exercise utilized a theory-driven, mixed-method approach, in line with the IDLO Evaluation Guidelines and OECD DAC standards.

  • Mongolia has formally joined IDLO,  the latest stage in an expanding partnership for the advancement the rule of law. The  first communist-ruled nation outside the Soviet Union, Mongolia has over the last two decades built a democracy that is untypical of its region. But for all the efforts of its political class and civil society, it has some way to go to improve governance, enhance access to justice, and reduce inequality.

  • Unless it boosts capacity in commercial law, Mongolia risks discouraging inward investment, not least in the vital mining sector. To avoid this happening, IDLO has been working with Mongolia's Supreme Court and Judicial General Council to improve the courts' ability to apply commercial law.  In particular, we have ensured that 24 Mongolian judges are equipped to train their peers in areas such as mining disputes, intellectual property and competition law.

  • Mongolia’s investment climate is chronically undermined by poor enforcement of rulings. In an effort to improve the enforcement rate, IDLO has been helping strengthen the Mongolian General Executive Agency of Court Decisions by  building the capacity of more than 200 bailiffs (12 of them bailiffs-trainers) in areas including sale and seizure of property, mediation and international arbitration, and conflict management.

  • IDLO has concentrated its efforts on the city of Mopti. As well as an important commercial center and Mali's country's main port, Mopti forms both the geographic and symbolic link between the country's North and South. During the conflict, it served as a frontline destination for displaced people.

  • Following the April 2010 Revolution in the Kyrgyz Republic, an interim government came to power promising to end many of the injustices that had prompted the overthrow of the country’s previous two presidents. Many reforms carried out during the interim period were focused on improving the foundation and application of the rule of law. Despite initial steps made towards progress in this area, the political events of 2010, including ethnic violence, significantly undermined potential progress in the rule of law.

  • As a long-term partner of the College of Law at the University of Juba, IDLO helped align the teaching system with South Sudan's new legal context and regional standards. With the majority of its justice sector professionals educated in Islamic/civil law, South Sudan faces the dual task of increasing its overall population of qualified legal professionals and simultaneously retraining practicing lawyers and prosecutors.

  • As Yemen launched its democratic transformation, its judiciary requested IDLO’s technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of new and sitting judges and staff. Working with the High Judicial Institute in Sana’a, we have helped officials train new judges, by providing technical guidance to draft and update the Institute’s curriculum, while delivering training sessions on commercial and maritime law.

  • IDLO is working with the Ministry of Justice to develop training methodology and curricula for both general and specialized, skills-based courses for Ministry of Justice public prosecutors, legal counsels and public and private lawyers, and members of civil society organizations. By developing legal training materials for justice professionals and working to establish a pool of qualified national trainers to engage in future legal training activities, IDLO is supporting the establishment of a Legal Training Institute.

  • With a reliable justice system, the Judiciary of South Sudan plays a vital role to secure lasting peace and stability in South Sudan. To this end, IDLO is working with the Judiciary of South Sudan to enhance the capacity of judges, judicial support staff and judicial assistants in procedural, substantive legal subjects and English language skills. This capacity building serves to improve the quality and delivery of judicial services in line with the country’s laws and international standards.

  • IDLO has been assisting the Ministry of Justice in developing a framework to enshrine the rule of law. In particular, we collaborated with the Ministry, the judiciary and other institutions to develop of a two-year Justice Sector Action Plan. The initiative was designed to help strengthen institutional capacity lay the foundations for a sustainable and effective justice system.

  • IDLO has been working with the government of Kyrgyzstan to establish a functional, credible and transparent legal system since the adoption of the 2010 Constitution.

    Despite many positive developments over the last four years, the rule of law sector continues to face problems; inadequate financing risks undermining judicial independence and makes access to justice a challenge.

  • Launched in March 2013 in partnership with the Afghan government, the Justice Training Transition Program (JTTP) offers justice professionals unprecedented levels of training in core legal skills and competencies. It provides continuing education courses on Afghan law to provincial courts, the Ministry of Justice and other government bodies. By far our most ambitious program anywhere, JTTP also provides criminal justice training and mentoring for Afghan prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys and investigators.

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