This sub-project seeks to improve the social contract through increased legitimacy of justice sector institutions in Somaliland.
In 2012 a Somali government took office with international backing, after two decades of anarchy and warfare. Supported by African Union peacekeeping troops, the government is seeking to extend its jurisdiction over areas of the country still controlled by Islamist militias.
As a consequence of conflict, Somalia's development and humanitarian indicators remain among the lowest in the world. IDLO is helping build and strengthen institutions, as a precondition to improving the lives of Somali citizens. This work includes supporting the judicial system and contributing to the Constitution-making process.
The sub-project aims to strengthen the capacity of the legal institutions at the local level in six target districts of Somaliland; improve access to alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) mechanism and to formal justice for vulnerable groups through holistic support to gender-based violence survivors and affected communities; and increase participation of citizens of Somaliland in accountability processes related to the provision of security and justice.
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.
Paralegal networks play a critical role in establishing a link between the informal and formal justice systems in the East and Horn of Africa.
Violence against women has long been recognized as a global epidemic, and the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly escalated threats to women’s safety, security and access to justice.