Although South Sudan attained independence from Sudan in 2011, the country has since witnessed violent conflict and military infighting following subsequent political crises. The fragile political situation and ongoing conflict in the country has made it difficult for ordinary citizens to seek and access justice. Almost 90% of disputes are resolved in informal justice systems, and the uneven legal training in both Sudanese Sharia law and English common law have resulted in a weak legal and judicial system that has failed to provide effective legal remedies to South Sudanese citizens. Additionally, a lack of capacity in civil society has hindered their ability to fill the critical gaps in the current justice system.
IDLO is implementing a project aimed at improving access to justice services for rural and marginalized citizens in South Sudan by supporting legal aid and through building the capacity of rule of law and justice actors. The project includes training for police, judges and other legal professionals to ensure they can effectively carry out their duties of justice service delivery. The project will also raise awareness of legal and human rights issues through a public information campaign using creative arts and the mass media. Finally, IDLO will support the development of informal national level coordination forums for rule of law actors and develop a Lessons Learned Brief on access to justice in South Sudan.