Statehood came to South Sudan in mid-2011, accompanied by international goodwill. But the conflict which erupted in late 2013 inflamed latent political and ethnic tensions. This resulted in gross human rights violations and piled further pressure onto the fledgling justice delivery system. A peace agreement was signed in August 2015 under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union to end hostilities, and detailing the formation of a government of national unity. Justice sector institutions, including the Judiciary, the Ministry of Justice, the Private Bar and the College of Law at the University of Juba, now have a vital role to play in restoring and strengthening the rule of law, and ensuring accountability and reconciliation.
Survivor-centered Justice: Why Is It Essential for Ending Gender-based Violence?
Paralegal networks play a critical role in establishing a link between the informal and formal justice systems in the East and Horn of Africa.
East Africa Regional Forum - Alternative Dispute Resolution & Customary and Informal Justice: Advancing SDG16 and Pathways to Justice
Over 30 paralegals from Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia and Uganda as well as various community justice experts convened to advocate for the critical role and contribution that paralegal support networks play in raising legal awareness and supporting access to justice for all, at a regional forum held in Nairobi on July 22-25, 2019.
Over 50 women judges, representing chapters of the International Association of Women Judges across the African continent, convened to discuss the critical role and contribution women justice professionals play in adjudicating cases of gender-based violence at a regional conference in Nairobi from November 29 to December 1, 2018.
IDLO has signed a memorandum of understanding with the East African Community (EAC), an intergovernmental organization composed of six countries in eastern Africa – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
The Chief Justices of Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda (partner states of the East African Community) as well as the Chief Justice of Zanzibar, the Judge President of the East African Court of Justice, and the Chief Justice of Somalia in an observer role, pledged to enhance collaboration, agree strategies to improve access to jus
Romualdo Mavedzenge – former Country Director for South Sudan
IDLO implemented 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 actors. The project included training for paralegals, civil society organizations and legal professionals to enable them to effectively carry out their duties of justice service delivery.
As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief (summarised evaluation report): “Enhancing the Capacity of the Judiciary of South Sudan”. The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Evaluation Unit. This exercise utilized a theory-driven, mixed-method approach, in line with the IDLO Evaluation Guidelines and OECD DAC standards.
As a long-term partner of the College of Law at the University of Juba, IDLO helped align the teaching system with South Sudan's new legal context and regional standards. With the majority of its justice sector professionals educated in Islamic/civil law, South Sudan faces the dual task of increasing its overall population of qualified legal professionals and simultaneously retraining practicing lawyers and prosecutors.
IDLO is working with the Ministry of Justice to develop training methodology and curricula for both general and specialized, skills-based courses for Ministry of Justice public prosecutors, legal counsels and public and private lawyers, and members of civil society organizations. By developing legal training materials for justice professionals and working to establish a pool of qualified national trainers to engage in future legal training activities, IDLO is supporting the establishment of a Legal Training Institute.
With a reliable justice system, the Judiciary of South Sudan plays a vital role to secure lasting peace and stability in South Sudan. To this end, IDLO is working with the Judiciary of South Sudan to enhance the capacity of judges, judicial support staff and judicial assistants in procedural, substantive legal subjects and English language skills. This capacity building serves to improve the quality and delivery of judicial services in line with the country’s laws and international standards.