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.
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."
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.
A herd of cows belonging to Bakyt Azizov has trampled over land belonging to Aybek Isaev. As a result, Mr. Isaev’s future oats harvest has been partly compromised. Mr. Isaev is now claiming from Mr. Azizov 85,600 Kyrgyzstani som (US$ 1,340) in compensation, divided as follows: direct damage – 7,100 som; profit lost – 48,500 som; moral damages – 25,000 som; and lawyer’s fees – 5,000 som.
A country previously described as ‘the world’s most failed state,’ Somalia has yet to shed this image. This week alone has brought reports of a return to piracy in the north of the country, insurgent attacks on African Union troops in the south, and a rise in the need for emergency food aid.
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.
“Having a new Constitution is all very fine,” one guest at an IDLO event memorably said, “but fixing Nairobi’s traffic may be more important.”
IDLO has concluded a series of workshops on Competition Law in Montenegro – part of continuing efforts to support the country as it prepares for EU accession. The area has historically been seen as a weakness. Ten participants from the Agency for the Protection of Competition and the Chamber of Commerce joined the interactive, case-oriented workshop.
Mongolia, one of the youngest democracies, has experienced rapid economic growth thanks to its extensive mineral deposits. However, the country’s investment climate and rule of law are chronically undermined by poor enforcement of court decisions. With support from the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction, IDLO is working with the Mongolian General Agency of Court Decisions to build the capacity of its bailiffs. IDLO trained over 200 bailiffs from all Mongolian regions on effective ways to execute court decisions from May 25 - June 20, 2015.
IDLO’s first legal course for representatives of civil society organizations (CSO), working to promote the rule of law, improve access to justice and support peace initiatives, has launched in South Sudan this week.
IDLO Somalia Country Director Adam-Shirwa Jama told a Washington roundtable hosted by the United States Institute of Peace that reform of the justice system had begun in Somalia. While it would take time for justice institutions to reach the whole of the country, Mr. Jama said, IDLO was encouraged by the international support given to these nascent institutions.
Despite reform efforts undertaken by the Government of Ukraine after the Maidan Revolution in 2014, Ukrainian citizens continue to regard criminal justice stakeholders with deep distrust. In 2019, the presidential and snap parliamentary elections resulted in a shift of the political environment, creating an opportunity to meaningfully advance anti-corruption reforms.
In Somalia, alternative justice mechanisms remain the main providers of justice services for lack of formal justice institutions. However, these justice mechanisms can be discriminatory particularly against women, youth and minority clans.
Justice within the context of commercial law is premised on the fact that an effective commercial justice system meets and facilitates the specialized needs of the business community and the private sector at large. However, there are persistent challenges related to the dispensation of commercial justice in Kenya.
Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, has been devastated by armed conflict since September 2014. The conflict has received limited international coverage and human rights violations and violations under international humanitarian law suffered by the civilian population have been grossly underreported. All parties to the conflict have been linked to serious violations of international law, with inadequate accountability mechanisms in place to ensure justice for victims.
In recent years Jordan has taken significant steps toward promoting economic development, including through strengthening rule of law. Judicial specialization in relevant areas, while promoting an enabling environment for capacity development within the relevant judicial institutions is crucial to maximize the impact of those efforts and ensure sustainability. At the same time, attention has been given to encouraging entrepreneurship, in particular women entrepreneurs, as a means to achieve economic growth.
In the post-conflict transition, significant steps have been taken to combat sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Liberia. The Government of Liberia established a policy and legal framework that includes the Rape Law (2006), a National Gender Policy (2017), and a National Plan of Action for the Prevention and Management of Gender-Based Violence in Liberia. However, in 2017, over 1100 SGBV cases have been reported in Montserrado County alone, representing only a small proportion of the violations that occur. Furthermore, the number of cases that have progressed to court remains low.
Transfer cases dealing with the Rwandan genocide have been adjudicated in Rwanda since 2012, and the number of cases extradited from other countries continues to increase. The procedure in transfer cases is guided in significant part by the practice and substantive precedents set by international tribunals and international criminal jurisprudence. However, international criminal law is a complex and evolving field, and it is critical that Rwandan judges know how to research and apply the latest judicial precedents correctly and effectively.
Despite the positive momentum from Ukraine’s justice sector reforms, there has been a lack of court judgments in top corruption cases, underscoring the need for greater institutional efficiency, transparency and independence in the process of prosecution. As corruption cases often involve complex financial schemes with elements of money-laundering, there is a strong need to delegate them to a specialized court. In response to these needs, the High Anti-Corruption Court was formally established on April 11th, 2019.
An ineffective court decision enforcement system in Indonesia leaves many who win their court case behind disappointed, as verdicts are not properly enforced. Hearings are often delayed, existing mechanisms are still based on Dutch law from 1848, and Indonesia’s Supreme Court’s internal regulations are not sufficient enough to ensure that court decisions are implemented effectively. The government has identified court decisions enforcement as one of the factors preventing effective judicial dispute resolution, particularly impacting business contracts.
Somalia is striving to strengthen its institutions and to improve the rule of law, however high levels of crime still persist. These include forms of complex crimes, namely extremist violence, organized crime, sexual and gender-based violence and corruption. In recent years, the Somali Federal Government has improved the fight against armed groups and made efforts to improve the capacity of the justice system to handle complex crimes.