With rapidly growing economic and social sectors, the improvement of its justice system is key to the Philippines securing the status of a newly developed country. IDLO has been implementing a program in the Philippines to enhance the competency of prosecutors with a view to increasing the successful disposition of cases against public officials and efficiently addressing corruption.
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."
September 1, 2017 – Today’s decision by the Kenya Supreme Court demonstrates that the Kenyan Judiciary can effectively and efficiently handle electoral disputes in line with the Constitution, said the International Development Law Organization (IDLO).
“The ruling is a clear demonstration of why supporting the independence of the Judiciary and investing in building judicial capacity, including to resolve electoral disputes, builds the democratic process.”
As a post-conflict country, Afghanistan continues to operate in a complex and fragile environment characterized by political instability, weak institutions and diminished public confidence.
The public backlash against the judiciary following the Presidential Petition decision in the Supreme Court in 2013 provides a lesson on the immense difficulties of convincing a cynical public that judicial decisions are based on legal reasoning and not political influence.
(Nairobi, Kenya) August 25, 2017 – In preparation for potential electoral disputes in Kenya resulting from the 2017 elections, and to expand Kenya’s jurisprudence under the 2010 Constitution, a new tool on non-party participation in litigation to ensure fair, consistent and efficient rulings by the Judiciary was launched at an event today.
The legal concept of ‘friend of the court’, or ‘amicus curiae’, refers to the participation in litigation of individuals or organizations who are not party to a case but have a strong interest in its subject matter.
The Judiciary Committee on Elections, JCE, is a successor of the judicial working committee on election preparation, which organized all the judiciaries around the 2013 elections. There were a lot of lessons learned.
The legal concept of “friend of the court”, or “amicus curiae”, refers to the participation in litigation of individuals or organizations who are not party to a case but have a strong interest in its subject matter.
On August 8, Kenya holds its general election to vote for the president along with senators, county governors and members of the national and county assemblies. While the 2007 Kenya elections saw much violence and unrest, the 2013 elections were relatively peaceful.
To mark the successful conclusion of a project aimed at enhancing the capacity of prosecutors in the Philippines, 113 lawyers of the Office of the Ombudsman came together with members of the international community for a symposium in Manila on integrity and anti-corruption initiatives.
Lack of good governance and the rule of law are one of the most pressing problems confronting modern Somalia on its path towards stability and reconstruction. While there have been signs of progress, the absence of robust and competent institutions has contributed to a climate of insecurity and impunity. Several assessments of the justice system in Somalia have found that judges and prosecutors lack of adequate skills to effectively administer criminal trials in line with Somali laws and procedures, particularly with respect to safeguarding the rights of the accused.
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.
Although Myanmar is a Party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children in the country still suffer disproportionate risks of early marriage, sexual exploitation, trafficking, neglect and abuse. In order to address these challenges, in 2019, the parliament passed a new Child Rights Law which covers all aspects of a child’s life, including health, education, juvenile justice, children in armed conflict and alternative care arrangements. However, there is still a need to develop rules to guide the law’s implementation.
Strengthening the capacity of prosecutors, judges and lawyers in Rwanda in international criminal law is both important and timely. Over two decades after Rwanda’s genocide, the number of cases extradited and transferred from other countries to Rwanda continues to increase. Given that international criminal law is a complex and evolving field, prosecutors who appear in Transfer cases would benefit from skills allowing them to more accurately and effectively research and apply the latest judicial precedents.
In Indonesia, with its civil law system, many scholars believe that lecturers do not have any obligation to use case law or jurisprudence, including among judges. This causes stagnant development of the law both in practice and theory. Therefore, integrating case law into education will not only be beneficial to both student and lecturer, but also for the judges so they can employ better consideration when making their decisions or verdicts.
In recent years, the Kyrgyz Republic has adopted a new Criminal Code and reformed the Criminal Procedure Code with the stated aim to humanize the system of law enforcement in the country. The new Codes were developed by a group of dedicated technical experts that have subsequently supported the development of a training program aimed at building the capacity of all key stakeholders - judges, police, defense lawyers, and prosecutors - on the foundational understanding of the codes.
Until recently, court processes in the Kyrgyz Republic have not been automated. Manual or paper systems still are required and are the norm although automating all processes has started very actively. According the country’s National Target Program for Development of the Judiciary, automated information systems need to be expanded and rolled out to the whole judicial system, not only within all first instance courts, but also second and third instance courts.
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.
Serbia has recently implemented several judicial reforms to modernize and improve the regulatory framework for mediation, such as the new Law on Mediation in 2014. By implementing the new legal framework on mediation, the number of registered mediators and of mediation cases in Serbia have both increased. However, the Supreme Court of Cassation still registers an excessive amount of backlogged cases.
In April 2018, the Republic of Armenia adopted a new version of the Civil Procedure Code with the aim to expedite cases and increase the efficiency of civil courts. As in most transition countries, implementation of the law by courts and officials is weak and uneven. The judiciary needs to become familiarized with the new Civil Procedure Code and its application within a limited timeframe. Hence, it is critical that judges have a firm grasp of the newly adopted rules, especially related to commercial disputes.