The rule of law is emerging as one of the most pressing issues of this century. It is a cornerstone of peace, security, justice and development.
By transferring resources from public to private hands, corruption negates the benefits of development. Similarly, favoritism and nepotism are the antithesis of fairness and equality. It is no coincidence that the most corrupt polities are also the poorest, most unequal and most justice-deficient. If the rule of law and development are to take hold, good governance is a necessary condition.
For this reason, IDLO has undertaken to expand its portfolio of integrity-focused projects. Promoting good governance is an area so broad as to be almost inexhaustible. In our case, it may mean helping countries make the institutions of justice cleaner and more responsive; reducing conflict of interest in procurement and public life; seeking to ensure adequate funding for the judiciary; or strengthening the capacity to fight fraud and economic crime.
The Government of Somalia has adopted a new national policy on internally displaced persons (IDPs), and refugee-returnees. The first of its kind, the policy seeks to provide rights-based solutions for the protection of all Somali citizens.
An abandoned movie theater in Mariupol has been restored and rebuilt into the new Mariupol Social Multicenter, a modern building providing public services for residents.
EVENT - Linking Peace, Justice and Development through Good Governance in the SDGs: The Role of Independent Oversight
74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly: High-level Meeting on Somalia
STATEMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LAW ORGANIZATION
Delivered by Irene Khan, Director-General, IDLO
By Margarita Meldon, Regional Program Manager for Central Asia; Filippo Ghersini, Program Coordinator for Commercial and Economic Law; and David Tanenbaum, Commercial and Economic Law Advisor
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.
The USAID-IDLO Trusted Judiciary program in the Kyrgyz Republic is set to achieve another success in promoting uniform judicial practices.
The High-Level Political Forum is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level.
In June 2015, IDLO commenced the project: Researching the Impact of Land Tenure Registration on Land Disputes and Women’s Land Rights in Burundi. Land Tenure Registration (LTR) programs involve issuing proof of ownership to holders of land rights to increase their legal certainty. Such programs are undertaken for a variety of reasons. While much is known about the impact of LTR on factors like access to credit and agricultural output, there is a gap in knowledge of its impact on land disputes, particularly in post-conflict settings.
The Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia handles citizens’ complaints about public service delivery and maladministration. Often, similar complaints are filed, or citizens return with additional grievances, leading to the refiling of cases and extra legal and administrative costs. The Ombudsman of Indonesia seeks to improve its service delivery, its effectiveness when handling complaints and its relationship with citizens and other stakeholders.
Through its decentralization and anti-corruption efforts, the Government of Ukraine is attempting to improve and extend the application of e-governance, or digital, tools in public administration based on international best practices. Over 100 existing registries and databases managed by various state institutions lack interoperability and do not allow for smooth exchanges of data between each other.
Corruption can be difficult to uncover, especially as technology is increasingly used to conceal corrupt behavior. Corruption cases handled by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that involve electronic evidence, such as e-mails or social media posts, have contributed to a conviction rate of 100 percent. Yet, law enforcement officers do not always allow electronic evidence in courts, and standard operational procedures providing guidance on electronic evidence handling and a digital forensic lab that meets international standards are lacking.
The Constitution of Kenya, adopted in 2010, made way for a new governance system composed of a national government and 47 county governments. Most of the assistance provided to the county governments has been focused on technical support. However, there is also a need to support the preparation of quality draft legislation to the county assemblies so that it meets the constitutional requirements.
Mongolia has formally joined IDLO, the latest stage in an expanding partnership for the advancement the rule of law. The first communist-ruled nation outside the Soviet Union, Mongolia has over the last two decades built a democracy that is untypical of its region. But for all the efforts of its political class and civil society, it has some way to go to improve governance, enhance access to justice, and reduce inequality.
Civil society in Ukraine is well organized and able to exert considerable influence, especially since the Maidan Revolution. It is widely agreed that targeted support for civil society organizations (CSOs) can amplify the success of reforms that strengthen the rule of law and eliminate corruption. With this is mind, we are working to empower CSOs to monitor and engage with the current reform processes in public administration, rule of law and justice sectors.
In Ukraine, as in most eastern European states, the role of the Public Prosecutor is oversized in relation to the Judiciary and the rest of the legal community. The institution is historically prone to abuse of power and corruption, and skewed towards protecting the interests of the state over those of society or the individual. Regard for human rights is scant; fair trial standards are rarely applied. As a consequence, public dissatisfaction is rife. However, current political will to change the system has opened up an opportunity for meaningful reform.
IDLO is supporting Afghanistan’s National Justice Sector Strategy to improve the quality and delivery of justice and legal services in line with constitutional, Shari’a and international standards. We have assisted in the development of various Afghan justice institutions and legal entities, including an Independent National Legal Training Center. We are also contributing to the Government’s strategy on legal awareness, while empowering the Afghan people through public campaigns on issues related to gender justice, violence against women, human rights, and the availability of legal services
The Bishkek Forum, held in the Kyrgyz capital in March 2013, was an international conference organized by IDLO to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and improve the administration of justice across much of the former Soviet space. The Forum drew chief justices from host nation Kyrgyzstan, neighbors Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, as well as regional superpower Russia, Georgia and Ukraine to discuss the effective and transparent management of courts.
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.
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.