The rule of law is emerging as one of the most pressing issues of this century. It is a cornerstone of peace, security, justice and development.
By transferring resources from public to private hands, corruption negates the benefits of development. Similarly, favoritism and nepotism are the antithesis of fairness and equality. It is no coincidence that the most corrupt polities are also the poorest, most unequal and most justice-deficient. If the rule of law and development are to take hold, good governance is a necessary condition.
For this reason, IDLO has undertaken to expand its portfolio of integrity-focused projects. Promoting good governance is an area so broad as to be almost inexhaustible. In our case, it may mean helping countries make the institutions of justice cleaner and more responsive; reducing conflict of interest in procurement and public life; seeking to ensure adequate funding for the judiciary; or strengthening the capacity to fight fraud and economic crime.
On a recent trip to a Central Asian preliminary detention center, the custodians proudly showed us the new ventilation system to prevent from spread of TB – a cut-in window directly across the door.
NOTA DE PRENSA
‘It is a symbol of new Ukrainian public service. It is also a symbol of change and development for the people in the occupied parts of Ukraine,’ said President Petro Poroshenko at the opening of a Public Service Center in the eastern city of Mariupol in the conflict-ridden Donetsk region.
Participants from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean joined workshops, organized by IDLO in The Hague, Guatemala and Bali, to explore legal frameworks for implementing the Nagoya Protocol.
‘Human rights and rule of law have to go hand in hand.
Ukrainian citizens may now apply for same-day marriage under a new pilot project, thanks to efforts by the Ministry of Justice to remove bureaucratic obstacles and deregulate the marriage registration process.
Kenya has formally adopted a new Judiciary Code of Conduct and Ethics, which will govern the comportment of the judiciary, in terms of integrity, impartiality and professional independence, and aims to boost public confidence in the justice system.
More than 120 participants attended a three-day symposium in South Sudan, organised by the College of Law (COL) and supported by IDLO, to promote awareness of and dialogue on contemporary human rights issues.
The Constitution of Kenya, adopted in 2010, made way for a new governance system composed of a national government and 47 county governments. Most of the assistance provided to the county governments has been focused on technical support. However, there is also a need to support the preparation of quality draft legislation to the county assemblies so that it meets the constitutional requirements. IDLO is working to strengthen the legislative capacity of the 47 county governments as well as ensure coordination between the national and county governments.
In June 2015, IDLO commenced the project: Researching the Impact of Land Tenure Registration on Land Disputes and Women’s Land Rights in Burundi.
Land Tenure Registration (LTR) programs involve issuing proof of ownership to holders of land rights to increase their legal certainty. Such programs are undertaken for a variety of reasons. While much is known about the impact of LTR on factors like access to credit and agricultural output, there is a gap in knowledge of its impact on land disputes, particularly in post-conflict settings.
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.
Civil society in Ukraine is well organized and able to exert considerable influence, especially since the Maidan Revolution. It is widely agreed that targeted support for civil society organizations (CSOs) can amplify the success of reforms that strengthen the rule of law and eliminate corruption. With this is mind, we are working to empower CSOs to monitor and engage with the current reform processes in public administration, rule of law and justice sectors.
In Ukraine, as in most post-Soviet states, the role of the Public Prosecutor is oversized in relation to the Judiciary and the rest of the legal community. The institution is historically prone to abuse of power and corruption, and skewed towards protecting the interests of the state over those of society or the individual. Regard for human rights is scant; fair trial standards are rarely applied. As a consequence, public dissatisfaction is rife. Current political will to change the system has opened up an opportunity for meaningful reform.
IDLO is supporting Afghanistan’s National Justice Sector Strategy to improve the quality and delivery of justice and legal services in line with constitutional, Shari’a and international standards. We have assisted in the development of various Afghan justice institutions and legal entities, including an Independent National Legal Training Center. We are also contributing to the Government’s strategy on legal awareness, while empowering the Afghan people through public campaigns on issues related to gender justice, violence against women, human rights, and the availability of legal services
The Bishkek Forum, held in the Kyrgyz capital in March 2013, was an international conference organized by IDLO to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and improve the administration of justice across much of the former Soviet space. The Forum drew chief justices from host nation Kyrgyzstan, neighbors Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, as well as regional superpower Russia, Georgia and Ukraine to discuss the effective and transparent management of courts.
The success of Tunisia's constitutional reforms depends on good economic governance. As part of supporting the country through its democratic transition, IDLO is helping build the capacity of its magistrates and prosecutors to combat financial and economic crime. In September 2012, the Tunisian Government created the Pôle Judiciaire Financier, a first-instance court dedicated to investigating all cases falling under that category.
Amid pressure to clean up public life in Kyrgyzstan, IDLO has helped draft a bill on conflict of interest. The challenge was both practical and political: Kyrgyzstan is a relatively small country with strong rural traditions, large, close-knit families, and a well-established culture of favors. The new law would ban any payment from interested parties, either in money or in kind, as well as gifts. This includes property, foreign travel or invitations to banquets, shows and sporting events.
While the new Constitution of Kenya, 2010 provides for the right of every Kenyan to access justice, its implementation is vital to strengthen and support the changes required for a better Kenya. IDLO is working with the Judiciary and Ministry of Devolution and Planning (MDP) on the implementation of the Judicial Transformation Framework (JTF) as the guiding blueprint on which judicial reforms around access to justice are anchored.