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."
The letter that was sent by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) to U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, with relation to the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), contains a number of factual errors and speculative assertions based on incorrect or incomplete information.
IDLO has over 30 years of experience in providing legal training for more than 25,000 people in the developing world, and has been working in Afghanistan since 2002. As an inter-governmental organisation, Afghanistan is also a member state of IDLO and this relationship further strengthens our engagement and effectiveness with local authorities and partners.
The US State Department has strongly defended IDLO’s record in Afghanistan. The comments came in response to allegations by the monitoring agency, SIGAR, that more than $47 million in funds allocated to IDLO for judicial training in Afghanistan lacked proper oversight.
One of the most vital components of IDLO’s judicial training program in Afghanistan is well underway, with dozens of legal professionals -- 12 percent of them female – receiving intensive training in the fight against money-laundering. Attendees include judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and Criminal Investigation Department officers.
Following on from its engagement with Afghanistan, and its more recent one with Somalia and South Sudan, IDLO is stepping up its commitment to fragile states by providing assistance to Yemen. The nation, which has only recently emerged from authoritarian rule, has embarked on a reform experiment known as the National Dialogue Conference.
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.
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.