The weight of custom and the failings of the formal justice system mean most Afghans only access justice via informal dispute resolution mechanisms. With this in mind, IDLO has been assisting informal justice actors to perform their duties within basic legal standards and a human-rights positive framework.
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As Yemen launched its democratic transformation, its judiciary requested IDLO’s technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of new and sitting judges and staff. Working with the High Judicial Institute in Sana’a, we have helped officials train new judges, by providing technical guidance to draft and update the Institute’s curriculum, while delivering training sessions on commercial and maritime law.
IDLO has been assisting the Ministry of Justice in developing a framework to enshrine the rule of law. In particular, we collaborated with the Ministry, the judiciary and other institutions to develop of a two-year Justice Sector Action Plan. The initiative was designed to help strengthen institutional capacity lay the foundations for a sustainable and effective justice system.
IDLO has been working with the government of Kyrgyzstan to establish a functional, credible and transparent legal system since the adoption of the 2010 Constitution.
Despite many positive developments over the last four years, the rule of law sector continues to face problems; inadequate financing risks undermining judicial independence and makes access to justice a challenge.
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.
The National Constitutional Review Commission of South Sudan continues to consult with stakeholders and the public on the development of a Permanent Constitution for South Sudan. In the past, IDLO supported the National Constitutional Review Commission by providing technical expertise in particular aspects of the Constitution’s structure and substance. IDLO provided ongoing secretarial support to the coordination of the Commission’s activities.
IDLO is working to support the endorsement of Somalia’s Provisional Constitution. In the first half of 2012, we helped produce a comparative analysis of the new draft Constitution, the Constitution of 1960 and the Transitional Federal Charter of 2004, with recommendations for changes where appropriate. The Provisional Constitution was adopted in 2012. The constitution-making process is set to continue until 2016, with the resulting document put to a public referendum.
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 supporting the Kenyan Government to implement the Constitution in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner, in accordance with international standards and best practices. This is being done with a view to enhancing access to justice for Kenyans, especially for women, children and other vulnerable populations.
Justice is scarce in Arab countries where the rule of law is absent. Democracy, it turns out, does not breed the rule of law; all indications are that it is the rule of law that breeds democracy.