Judicial Services (courts, judges, prosecutors, defenders, other lawyers, support staff, military justice, etc.)

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Case Studies

Promoting Local Ownership Through a Thematic Assessment in Guatemala's Justice Sector

In 2005, an intense national dialogue was taking place in Guatemala on the dramatic increase of homicides. Several donors tried to strengthen the National Civil Police’s and the Public Ministry’s capacity to investigate and prosecute homicide cases. There was a tremendous lack of knowledge regarding the weaknesses and strengths of the justice and security system in this area and there was no baseline to inform better programming.

Case Study


Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Resolutions in Security Sector Reform (Tool 13)

Reflecting the text of the resolutions, the Tool focuses on reforms in the defence forces, police and the justice sector. Issues examined include: DDR, vetting, specialised services for victims of sexual violence, prosecution of violence against women in armed conflict, measures to increase women’s leadership in police and defence organisations and to promote deployment of women in peacekeeping, peacekeepers’ training , operational strategies to prevent sexual violence, and gender justice. The Tool will also examine progress made in promoting the participation of women in security decision-making, and in integrating Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889 in national security policy-making, including through national action plans.



1. Introduction

2. What is security sector reform?
2.1 Security sector reform
2.2 Why women and girls?

3. What are the women, peace and security resolutions?
3.1 Overview
3.2 What do the women, peace and security resolutions mean for UN Member States?

4. How can the women, peace and security resolutions be implemented in security sector reform?
4.1 In national and regional security policies and Action Plans
4.2 Through women’s participation in SSR processes
4.3 In defence reform
4.4 In police reform
4.5 In transitional justice and justice reform
4.6 In preparation for the deployment of personnel to peacekeeping missions
4.7 By Countries involved in armed conflict

5. Key recommendations

6. Additional resources


Fonctions de l'Agent de l'Ordre Judiciaire – Manuel du Formateur

Produit avec l’appui technique et financier du Programme d’appui à la bonne gouvernance « Gutwara Neza » de l’Union Européenne et la Coopération technique Belge, le présent module rappelle les tâches confiées aux agents de l’ordre judiciaire. Il reprend les généralités, les fonctions d’un agent de l’ordre judiciaire en matière civile et pénale ainsi qu’en matière d’exécution des jugements. En outre, ledit module constitue un point d’introduction à la formation des agents de l’ordre judiciaire sur plusieurs autres modules relatifs à la Gestion administrative et judiciaire, à la déontologie et les relations publiques.


Notions Fondamentales de Droit – Manuel du Formateur

Le présent module de ‘’Notions fondamentales’’ de droit répond au besoin des agents de l’ordre judiciaire de mieux connaître les notions juridiques de base qui leur permettront de communiquer aisément avec les usagers des services de la justice. Ainsi, les AOJ devraient avoir une formation de  base sur les notions fondamentales de droit et de la procédure pour accomplir valablement leur rôle.


Fonctions de l'Agent de l'Ordre Judiciaire – Cahier de l’Apprenant

Produit avec l’appui technique et financier du Programme d’appui à la bonne gouvernance « Gutwara Neza » de l’Union Européenne et la Coopération technique Belge, le module traite des principales fonctions d’un agent de l’ordre judiciaire, de son rôle dans les phases pré juridictionnelle et juridictionnelle, et de ses fonctions en matière d’exécution de jugements.


Training Resources on Justice Reform and Gender

The Gender and SSR Training Resource Package is a series of practical training materials to help trainers integrate gender in SSR training, and deliver effective gender training to SSR audiences.
 It is designed for SSR trainers and educators, and gender trainers working with the security sector, to help you present material on gender and SSR in an interesting and interactive manner. The Gender and SSR Training Resource Package contains a wide range of exercises, discussion topics and examples from the ground that you can adapt and integrate into your SSR or gender training.
A gender-responsive justice reform process seeks to:

» establish a fair, accessible, trusted and accountable justice sector for all groups within society
» promote gender equality
» ensure equal access to judicial processes
» identify and address problems and gaps within existing laws, mechanisms and processes which impede justice and security for men, women, boys and girls



Characteristics of a SSR Advisor - Interview with Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade

ISSAT Senior SSR Advisor sheds light in this video on the main characteristics and competencies that SSR Advisors need to have inorder to carry out their activities efficiently. Besides the technical skills that are needed in any SSR Advisor, Bgen(ret) Belondrade, shares his real-life experience on what competencies he had to develop to undertake advisory activities to high level authorities on SSR.


Introduction à la reforme du secteur de la sécurité

Cette présentation donne le contexte théorique du concept de réforme du secteur de la sécurité, ainsi qu'une vue d'ensemble des efforts internationaux déployés aujourd'hui en matière de RSS.

Version anglaise 


SSR Politics in Training - Interview Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade

What are the "politics of SSR" and how could these dynamics be managed? Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade shares with ISSAT Community members the experience of a training workshop where this aspect was predominant in how the trainees reacted to the knowledge shared with them.


Policy and Research Papers

Justice Sector Assessments: A Handbook

This handbook is a practical guide, primarily intended for World Bank staff involved in justice sector assessments. It also may be of interest to the wider justice reform and
development community. Assessment methodologies for other sectors and justice sector assessment methodologies from other institutions have informed the handbook. As far as we could ascertain, this is the first time that practices in justice sector assessments as they have evolved have actually been described. This handbook is not the last word in assessments; rather, it is a basis for further development.


Legal and Judicial Reform: Strategic Directions

This paper will proceed in four parts. The first part will examine the basic theoretical relationship between legal systems and market-oriented poverty reduction. The second part will examine various elements of legal and judicial reform and current activities. The third part will describe a strategy framework and methodology for designing and preparing legal and judicial activities. Lastly, the fourth part will examine the role of the World Bank and the organizational mechanisms available to the Bank to ensure that its
theoretical and policy approaches are constantly refined for new circumstances and in light of new interdisciplinary research.


Legal and Judicial Sector Assessment Manual

Legal and judicial reform is a long-term process, and for the process to be sustainable, it requires a corresponding long-term commitment from the countries. For this reason, it is critical that any effort in this area is grounded in a long-term sector strategy that includes reforms targeted at the legal and judicial system as whole and all the relevant stakeholders. Law and justice sector activities must be approached strategically, bringing together all the elements that promote the rule of law through holistic and comprehensive sector reform programs. This approach entails the following sequence:
* Legal and Judicial Sector Assessments
* Development of a comprehensive plan
* Identification of priorities and sequencing based on available capacity and in coordination with other active donors
* Dialogue with the stakeholders throughout each stage


Rule of Law Reform in Post-Conflict Countries: Operational Initiatives and Lessons Learnt

This paper aims to provide a tour d’horizon of common operational initiatives and policy approaches adopted by agencies and institutions involved in the area of rule of law reform in fragile or post-conflict countries, and identify key lessons highlighted in the policy literature.

The paper reviews some of the key lessons to have emerged from the last two decades of rule of law experience, typically undertaken in fragile or post-conflict countries (and more generally in developing countries) by a multiplicity of uncoordinated actors and projects. There is a striking lack of systematic results-based evaluations of the programs, especially independent rigorous cross country evaluations, or comprehensive case studies of all the programs in a country. The rule of law expertise that exists is not centralized or institutionalized, and resides in individuals who have often learnt through trial and error. The field lacks a common foundation or basic agreement on the goals of rule of law reform, on how different aspects should be sequenced to avoid them working against each other, and fundamentally what sortsof strategies are effective. The paper highlights 11 important lessons: lack of coherent strategy and expertise; insufficient knowledge of how to bring about change; a general trend to focus on form over function; emphasis on the formal legal system over informal and traditional systems; short-term reforms in contrast to longer term strategies; wholesale vs. incremental and context-determined change; the need for local change agents; how to engender local ownership; rushed and compromised constitution making; poorly designed training and legal education programs; and the need to sequence and prioritize change.


Bosnia and Herzegovina Justice Sector Reform Strategy 2008 - 2012

The overall objective of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy is to create a joint framework of reform for justice sector institutions in BiH that sets out agreed priorities for the future development of the sector as a whole, as well as realistic actions for reform.
This strategy was created through a joint effort between the ministries of justice of the State of BiH, the entities, and cantons, as well as Brčko District Judicial Commission and the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council. It is the result of a highly participatory and consultative process that encompassed key justice sector institutions of Bosnia Herzegovina, including representatives of professional associations of judges and prosecutors, bar associations, association of mediators and NGOs. Its aim is to provide a strategic framework for addressing key issues within the justice sector over a five year timeframe.


How to Note: Justice Sector Reform

The purpose of this How to Note is to provide hands-on guidance and inspiration on how to put these strategic priorities into practice in Danish development cooperation.
This How to Note focuses on one particular aspect of the support to the realisation of human rights – building societies based on justice and the rule of law through support to justice sector reform. Danish support to justice sector reform often includes support to formal and informal institutions, and to state as well as non-state actors. Further guidance on how to promote equal access to justice through informal justice systems is provided in a separate How to Note.


Justice and security – when the state isn’t the main provider

Most people in the world do not take it for granted that the state can or will provide justice and security. Donors who seek to improve access to these services should abandon their concern with ‘what ought to be’ and focus on ‘what works’. This means supporting the providers that exist, and accepting that while wholesale change is not possible, gradual improvement is.


Hybrid Tribunals & the Rule of Law: Notes from Bosnia & Herzegovina & Cambodia

Following the establishment of the international ad hoc tribunals, the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (ICTY and ICTR respectively), a new model of justice administration emerged at the end of the 1990s through the development of hybrid or internationalised courts. Hybrid tribunals are conceived as a mixture of international and domestic law and staff, as a way to provide the necessary resources and guarantees for justice closer to those whose work matters to most. This paper looks at the two most recent tribunals, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and the War Crimes Chamber in the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (WCC) and examines their practice related to the expectations that hybrid tribunals have raised in terms of peacebuilding. Based on the authors’ fieldwork in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cambodia, this paper focuses particularly on the tribunals’ impact on the rebuilding of the rule of law, the strengthening of public institutions in the countries in which they operate and the perception of the public of their work. It considers the experience of the tribunals so far, problems and ongoing challenges in order to draw some lessons which can impact both their future work and other potential tribunals in post-­‐conflict settings.


Reforming Afghanistan's Broken Judiciary

Afghanistan’s justice system is in a catastrophic state of disrepair. Despite repeated pledges over the last nine years, the majority of Afghans still have little or no access to judicial institutions. Lack of justice has destabilised the country and judicial institutions have withered to near non-existence. Many courts are inoperable and those that
do function are understaffed. Insecurity, lack of proper training and low salaries have driven many judges and prosecutors from their jobs. Those who remain are highly
susceptible to corruption. Indeed, there is very little that is systematic about the legal system, and there is little evidence that the Afghan government has the resources or
political will to tackle the challenge. The public, consequently, has no confidence in the formal justice sector amid an atmosphere of impunity. A growing majority of Afghans have been forced to accept the rough justice of Taliban and criminal powerbrokers in areas of the country that lie beyond government control.

To reverse these trends, the Afghan government and international community must prioritise the rule of law as the primary pillar of a vigorous counter-insurgency strategy
that privileges the protection of rights equally alongside the protection of life. Restoration of judicial institutions must be at the front and centre of the strategy aimed at stabilising the country. The Afghan government must do more to ensure that judges, prosecutors and defence attorneys understand enough about the law to ensure its
fair application. Reinvigoration of the legal review process and the adoption of a more dynamic, coordinated approach to justice sector reform are critical to changing
the system. Justice is at the core of peace in Afghanistan and international engagement must hew to the fundamental goal of restoring the balance of powers in government and confronting governmental abuses, past and present. Urgent action is also needed to realign international assistance to strengthen support for legal education, case management, data collection and legal aid.


Lessons from the Deployment of International Judges and Prosecutors in Kosovo

This case study seeks to provide basic information and policy analysis on the deployment of international judges and prosecutors in Kosovo, a program that was established under the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in 1999. It is part of a series that aims to provide information and analysis on policy and practical issues facing hybrid courts. In Kosovo, hybrid courts were established when international capacity was injected into the domestic legal system. The lessons that can be drawn from this experience are divided into the following areas:
• A brief history of the conflict in Kosovo
• Background to the establishment of the international judges and prosecutors (IJP) program
• A description of the IJP program
• Prosecutorial strategy and case selection
• Legal framework
• Court administration and witness protection
• Cost and efficiency
• Relationship with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and other transitional justice mechanisms
• Outreach, public perceptions, and ownership
• Exit strategy and legacy
The purpose of this case study is to provide basic information, some of which is still not widely available, on these areas to guide policymakers and stakeholders in establishing and implementing similar mechanisms. Similar case studies have been developed on Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste.


The Role of Judicial Reform in Development and Transitional Justice

Postconflict societies are characterized by lack of the rule of law, past and present gross human rights violations, impunity, and economic devastation and decay. In response to past human rights violations, a variety of measures have been developed, including prosecutions at both international and domestic levels, truth commissions, and reparations for victims. All these options need strong institutions. In postconflict and post-authoritarian societies, this often requires reforming or rebuilding the judicial system and its supporting services. This paper draws connections between judicial reform, transitional justice, and development in transitional contexts.


Reforming Legal Systems in Developing and Transition Countries

A weak legal system can undercut efforts to develop a modern, market-oriented economy. What is the relationship between legal reform and economic reform, and what
specific steps can countries take to encourage the former?


Rule of Law Handbook: A Practitioner's Guide for Judge Advocates

The Handbook is not intended to serve as U.S. policy or military doctrine for rule of law operations. Nor is the Handbook intended to offer guidance or advice to other military professionals involved in the rule of law mission. Written primarily for Judge Advocates, the limits of its scope and purpose are to provide the military attorney assistance in accomplishing the rule of law mission. While others involved in rule of law missions may find the Handbook helpful, they should understand its intended audience is the Judge Advocate or paralegal involved in the rule of law mission during on-going military operations.


Justice for All A Comprehensive Needs Analysis for Justice in Afghanistan

This paper aims to provide
• a high-level analysis of what needs to be done over the next 12 years to build and maintain a minimally functional justice system in Afghanistan
• a preliminary forecast of what it would cost to fill its gaps
• an analysis of current gaps in programming and funding


Informal and formal systems of rule of law

This Note approaches the interplay of formal and informal justice systems and their respective merits by focussing on the justice needs of people. Needs, as expressed through the demand for justice services, has been neglected by the donor community as a factor in informing approaches and attitudes towards plural legal systems. Instead much of the current debate, both in academia and in the communities of law and development practitioners, has run along quasi-ideological lines, with positions often rooted in beliefs and anecdotes but not in evidence.


Pakistan's Law and Justice Sector Reform Experience. Some Lessons Armytage (2010)

Pakistan is one of the world best-kept tourist secrets, being endowed with a deep history, a rich and embracing culture and the majestic splendour of most the world’s highest mountains – features which are generally not well known abroad. Those of us that have had the privilege to live and work in Pakistan have had much to appreciate. What is generally better known is that Pakistan is a large poor country which ranks between Papua New Guinea and Nepal on the United Nation’s human development index, and faces a range of profound governance and economic challenges to its development.
This aim of this paper is to illuminate and reflects on one focused and substantial effort to improve this situation. It complements an earlier article outlining the purpose, goals and objectives of the project published at its outset.2 It will review the ongoing experience being gained in Pakistan’s Access to Justice reform program with a view to distil lessons learned for the emerging discourse on law and justice development programs. The paper approaches the subject in four parts: history, objectives, progress to date, and lessons learned.


Rule of Law, Justice Sector Reforms and Development Cooperation

Like other donors, SDC has dealt with rule of law issues for years. In several countries, SDC supports judicial reform and the improvement of the legal framework for economic and social development. This concept paper aims to provide information and guidance to SDC’s staff and partners at headquarters and in partner countries. The concept paper begins by identifying the essential elements of the rule of law. Although there is no internationally accepted definition of the rule of law, key elements generally include: non-discrimination and equality before the law, the hierarchy of norms, and the substantive coherence of the legal framework, the government is bound by law, the separation of powers, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and respect for human rights.
The rule of law is interlinked with other concepts used in international cooperation: the rule of law is a means to realize human rights and gender equality, a key element for good governance, decentralization, poverty reduction, economic development, and peace building. Depending on these different perspectives, the concept is multicoloured, and it results in different and sometimes even conflicting approaches to and priorities for legal and judicial reforms. SDC will use the rule of law concept as a means to realize human rights, and implement its principles with flexibility, taking into account the relevant context, and potential entry points for cooperation.
Part two of this concept paper looks at the growing trend to include the rule of law dimension in legal and judicial reform projects. The performance of judicial institutions depends not just on operational efficiency, but also on their accessibility to vulnerable groups and effectiveness in realizing human rights. Justice sector reforms are increasingly seen from a systemic perspective, as a series of interconnected institutions and procedures to be analysed and improved. Moreover, legal and judicial systems are not restricted to formal, “modern” laws and institutions: they include informal and traditional law and procedures.
Part three provides illustrative examples of SDC’s engagement and experience involving the rule of law dimension both in legal and judicial reform and in other areas of development cooperation. The examples show that the legal dimension of development can be addressed in a variety of contexts and manners with different partners and entry points.


New Voices: National Perspectives on Rule of Law Assistance

It is now widely recognized that the advancement of the rule of law is essential to the maintenance of peace and security, the realization of sustainable development, and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Rule of law assistance is a growing area of demand and significant experience has been accumulated in this field over the past 20 years. Yet, despite the centrality of the rule of law to our challenging global agenda, rule of law assistance is still too often executed in an ad hoc manner, designed without proper consultations with national stakeholders, and absent exacting standards of evaluation. A new perspective on rule of law assistance delivery is clearly needed.

The United Nations hosted a consultative process in New York resulting in this report, entitled New Voices: National Perspectives on Rule of Law Assistance. Sixteen national rule of law experts engaged in rule of law reform in 13 countries and regions, joined representatives from the United Nations system and partner countries to offer their respective views on how rule of law assistance can be better channeled to deliver results. The overall aim is to enhance dialogue between rule of law assistance providers and rule of law reformers in countries with a view to placing national perspectives at the centre of rule of law assistance.

This report outlines the following set of recommendations, corresponding to four major common conclusions which emerged from the consultative process. The national experts widely agreed that rule of law assistance is enhanced where: 1) national actors experience greater ownership over rule of law programmes; 2) local stakeholders are empowered; 3) assistance is coordinated and coherent; and 4) meaningful evaluations and assessment of impact are conducted. These common conclusions are based on the personal views and experiences of the national experts with rule of law assistance as articulated in the Voices section of this report.

It is hoped that the common conclusions and recommendations formulated by this informal forum of experts will serve as an important turning point towards a more effective approach to rule of law assistance. A clear call emerged for national rule of law policy-makers and experts and donor partners to come together to develop an internationally-recognized framework guiding rule of law assistance.


Indonesia’s progress on governance: State cohesion and strategic institutional reform

This papers presents the widespread reform of state institutions Indonesia has been going through since 1998. It also addresses what drove the process, some challenges and lessons learnt.


Betwixt and between – chiefs and reform of Sierra Leone’s justice sector

This paper discusses the uneasy role of chiefs within three cycles of security and justice reform in Sierra Leone during the past decade. Interaction has been indirect, by default or marginal, and always hesitant. This has been the case, even though chiefs constitute the most important governing institution in Sierra Leone’s rural communities.


Justice Beyond The Hague: Supporting the Prosecution of International Crimes in National Courts

Justice Beyond The Hague provides important insights into the strengths and limitations of current international justice mechanisms. It makes a clear case for increasing support to national legal systems and outlines a variety of ways that the U.S. government can improve and coordinate its aid with others. While there will always be a place for international courts in countries that cannot or will not prosecute perpetrators themselves, this Council Special Report successfully argues
that domestic systems can and should play a more meaningful role.

Justice Beyond The Hague: Supporting the Prosecution of International Crimes in National Courts by David A. Kaye, Copyright © 2011 by the Council on Foreign Relations Press. Posted with permission.


Review of Development Cooperation between Sri Lanka Police and Swedish National Police Board

This is the result of the review of a swedish assistance project aimed at “Enhancing the Capacity of Civilian Policing in Sri Lanka” whose specific objectives were to: (i) Improve crime investigations including crime scene examinations; (ii) Strengthen the respect and promotion of ethnic integration and human rights in SLP and; (iii) Increase management capacity of SLP. The Review was carried out in October 2007.


Parliamentary Oversight of Justice and Intelligence Agencies in the European Union

This study evaluates the oversight of national security and intelligence agencies by parliaments and specialised non-parliamentary oversight bodies, with a view to identifying good practices that can inform the European Parliament’s approach to strengthening the oversight of Europol, Eurojust, Frontex and, to a lesser extent, Sitcen. The study puts forward a series of detailed recommendations (including in the field of access to classified information) that are formulated on the basis of indepth assessments of: (1) the current functions and powers of these four bodies; (2) existing arrangements for the oversight of these bodies by the European Parliament, the Joint Supervisory Bodies and national parliaments; and (3) the legal and institutional frameworks for parliamentary and specialised oversight of security and intelligence agencies in EU Member States and other major democracies. 


The Socioeconomic Impact of Pretrial Detention

This report is presented as a nascent effort to catalogue the socioeconomic impact of excessive pretrial detention around the world. As discussed in Section II, precise data on pretrial detention are rare. Rarer still are rigorous cost (or cost-benefit) analyses of pretrial detention. Although there are extant studies from Mexico (summarized in Appendix 1), Chile, Argentina, and Ukraine, the literature is thin. This report, then, may be seen as both an initial foray and an appeal for additional research. 


Pretrial Detention and Torture: Why Pretrial Detainees Face the Greatest Risk

This paper highlights the risk of abuse faced by pretrial detainees and identifies some of the systemic factors that perpetuate torture and other ill-treatment. Research referenced in this paper is largely drawn from the fact-finding missions of former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak and his team, as well as a review of reports by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, other relevant UN treaty bodies, and non-governmental organizations. 


Improving Pre-Trial Justice - The Role of Lawyers and Paralegals

On any given day, some three million people are held in pretrial detention around the world. Countless millions are unnecessarily arrested and detained by law enforcement agencies annually. Those in pretrial detention are often held in conditions and subject to treatment that is far worse than that experienced by sentenced prisoners. Pretrial detainees—who have not been tried or found guilty—can languish behind bars for years. Some detainees may literally be lost in the system. 

Lawyers and paralegals have a central role to play in advising, assisting, and representing individuals at the pretrial stage of the criminal process.  

This paper looks at the role of lawyers and paralegals in the pre-trial process and provides recommendations for governments and for legal aid organisations.


Pretrial Detention and Health: Unintended Consequences, Deadly Results

A Literature Review and Recommendations for Health Professionals.

This paper reports on a review of published and grey literature on health condi- tions and health services in pretrial detention in developing and transitional countries. This paper takes as its point of departure that the negative health impacts of excessive pretrial detention are an important reason to pursue pretrial justice reform. Problems identified in the literature are linked both to inadequate health services and to the health impact of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees and failure of the state to ensure humane living conditions and protection from violence. Together these con- stitute pervasive and often heinous human rights abuses among people, not convicted of any crime, who are entirely in the control of the state. 


The Court of Justice of the European Union as a Fundamental Rights Tribunal: Challenges for the Effective Delivery of Fundamental Rights in the Area...

This paper reflects on the challenges facing the effective implementation of the new EU fundamental rights architecture that emerged from the Lisbon Treaty. Particular attention is paid to the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and its ability to function as a ‘fundamental rights tribunal’. The paper first analyses the praxis of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and its long-standing experience in overseeing the practical implementation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Against this analysis, it then examines the readiness of the CJEU to live up to its consolidated and strengthened mandate on fundamental rights as one of the prime guarantors of the effective implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

We specifically review the role of ‘third-party interventions’ by non-governmental organisations, international and regional human rights actors as well as ‘interim relief measures’ when ensuring effective judicial protection of vulnerable individuals in cases of alleged violations of fundamental human rights.To flesh out our arguments, we rely on examples within the scope of the relatively new and complex domain of EU legislation, the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), and its immigration, external border and asylum policies. In view of the fundamental rights-sensitive nature of these domains, which often encounter shifts of accountability and responsibility in their practical application, and the Lisbon Treaty’s expansion of the jurisdiction of the CJEU to interpret and review EU AFSJ legislation, this area can be seen as an excellent test case for the analyses at hand. The final section puts forth a set of policy suggestions that can assist the CJEU in the process of adjusting itself to the new fundamental rights context in a post-Lisbon Treaty setting.


The Deaf, the Blind and the Politician: The Troubles of Justice and Security Interventions in Fragile States

This article argues for an integrated, political and pragmatic approach to justice and security development as one of the key objectives of effective international support to peace building and state building in conflict-affected and fragile states. Developments since the 1990s suggest that different actors and communities have started to work on the same issues from different angles and with – perceived– different mandates. As a result, important parts of the debate on how to deal with security system reform (SSR), justice reform and the rule of law seem somewhat stuck in conceptual arguments. This article suggests moving away from such debates and instead to focus on what such justice and security engagements are meant to achieve, for whom, and which general approaches are likely to provide most added value. It argues that results require political focus, long-term processes and need to be in tune with local elite interests – whilst pursuing the aim of gradually helping to improve delivery of justice and security as basic services for all, to appropriate local standards. External and domestic objectives require careful balancing, creative compromises and strong incentives. The article also outlines a number of recurrent challenges to effective programming and suggests some ideas for improvement to achieve better results and more value for money.


The Socioecononmic Impact of Pre-Trial Detention

Approximately 10 million people per year pass through pretrial detention; many of them will spend months or even years behind bars—without being tried or found guilty. Locking away millions of people who are presumed innocent is a waste of human potential that undermines economic development.

The economic effects of excessive pretrial detention—from lost wages to misspent government resources—are documented in a new report, The Socioeconomic Impact of Pretrial Detention , published by the Open Society Justice Initiative and the United Nations Development Program.

This study attempts for the first time to count the full cost of excessive pretrial detention, including lost employment, stunted economic growth, the spread of disease and corruption, and the misuse of state resources. Combining statistics, personal accounts, and recommendations for reform, The Socioeconomic Impact of Pretrial Detention  provides empirical arguments against the overuse of pretrial detention.


Pretrial Detention and Torture: Why Pretrial Detainees face the Greatest Risk

Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are not aberrations. They are common—even routine—in many detention facilities. Of the nearly ten million people in detention (including both pretrial and post-conviction detainees) around the world, those held in pretrial detention are most at risk of torture.

Pretrial detainees are wholly in the power of detaining authorities, many of whom perceive torture as the fastest way to obtain information or a confession and the easiest way to exercise physical and mental control over detainees. The practice is exacerbated by indiscriminate arrests, primarily of poor people without the resources to extricate themselves from detention; criminal justice systems that rely on confessions rather than good policing; official corruption; and public acceptance of torture.


Pretrial Detention and Health: Unintended Consequences, Deadly Results

Pretrial holding facilities in countries with developing and transitional economies often force detainees to live in filthy, over-crowded conditions, where they lack adequate health services. In the worst cases, detainees die; some centers are so bad that innocent people plead guilty just to be transferred to prisons where the conditions might be better.

For many pretrial detainees, being locked away in detention centers where tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and HIV are easily contracted can be a death sentence.

This paper, aimed at health professionals, presents a review of literature on health conditions and health services in pretrial detention in developing and transitional countries. It takes as its point of departure that the negative health impacts of excessive pretrial detention are an important reason to pursue pretrial justice reform.

Its recommendations include calling on health professionals to support monitoring and research efforts on the issues, as well supporting prison health officials and public engagement.


Improving Pretrial Justice: The Roles of Lawyers and Paralegals

On any particular day, around three million people are being held in pretrial detention, and during the course of a year an estimated 10 million people pass through pretrial detention.

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the positive impact that early intervention by lawyers and paralegals can have on pretrial justice generally—and on the use of pretrial detention in particular—and to provide a guide to the ways in which lawyer and paralegal schemes can be established. It sets out to demonstrate the benefits not only for the individuals who are advised and assisted, but for the efficiency and effectiveness of criminal justice systems, and for wider society.


Institutional Assessment of the Police and Justice Sectors

Institutional assessment is often considered to be a first step in the reform or development of institutions. It involves an analysis of various components and stakeholders in an institutional setting and provides a means of identifying the current situation, priority areas for intervention and the various constraints/barriers that could undermine reform efforts. Assessments of this nature usually examine both the overall institutional framework (the rules of the game) and the organisations operating within this institutional context (the players).

This report collates information, guidelines and case study material. Not all of the documents included below directly use the term ‘institutional assessment’, but the processes described, variously referred to as reviews, studies and assessments, broadly pertain to the definition of institutional assessment.

The report includes coverage of a number of donor designed frameworks for assessing the policing and justice sector. According to much of the general academic and policy literature on SSAJ programmes, substantial reform of the police force is only possible when reform of the justice system is administered at the same time. However, whilst the underlying principles for the institutional assessment of policing and justice may be similar, the specific frameworks espoused by donors appear to tackle the institutional assessment of policing and justice separately.


Transitional Justice and Displacement

Transitional justice is often pursued in contexts where people have been forced from their homes and communities by human rights violations and have suffered additional abuses while displaced. Yet little attention has been paid to how transitional justice measures can be used to address the wide range of injustices associated with displacement and thereby serve as part of a comprehensive approach to the resolution of displacement. This report provides an overview of the relationship between transitional justice and displacement and offers specific guidance to policymakers and practitioners in the numerous fields that share a concern with displacement, including transitional justice, humanitarianism, peacebuilding, and development. Displaced persons often have a critical stake in transitional justice processes, which have the potential to contribute positively to efforts to uphold their rights and well-being. When displacement is linked to large-scale human rights violations, the concerns of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) should be incorporated in appropriate ways into transitional justice efforts. At the same time, responses to the problem of displacement should integrate transitional justice measures.


The Prospects for Security Sector Reform in Tunisia: A Year After the Revolution

In the year since the revolution, Tunisia has achieved what no other Arab Spring country has managed: peaceful transition to democratic rule through national elections widely viewed to be free and fair. The legacy of the previous regime, however, remains. Dr. Querine Hanlon assesses the prospects for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Tunisia and concludes that Tunisia’s new government faces major challenges dismantling and reorienting the mandate and institutional culture of Tunisia’s labyrinth of security institutions. Serious SSR will be critical for building trust in the new governments and its security institutions and essential if Tunisia’s transition to democratic rule is to succeed in the long term.


Access to Justice Assessment for Guinea

This report is the product of a partnership between La Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO) and ABA ROLI. RADDHO undertook the majority of the research in this report, using a research plan based upon the AJAT and developed during working groups with ABA ROLI. RADDHO then analyzed the data collected and drafted this report, with ABA  ROLI providing multiple rounds of commentary and edits. The final report was reviewed by experts and key stakeholders in Guinea and, after a final edit, was published in English and French.

The findings in this report are based on qualitative research methodologies, and are intended to present an informative analysis of access to justice in Guinea. Data for this report was collected through semi-structured interviews. Most interviews were conducted between January 2011 and March 2011, although further research was conducted throughout 2011. Research was
conducted primarily in Conakry. Close to 200 people were interviewed, including magistrates, lawyers, prosecutors, law enforcement agents, execution officers, notaries, government officials,law professors, civil society representatives, journalists, mayors, heads of neighborhoods, heads of sectors, imams, priests and heads of family. A number of victims of domestic violence, harassment, and unfair inheritance were also interviewed, and their testimony, with fictional names added, greatly enriches this report. Records of individuals interviewed, whose names are kept confidential and whose time and assistance are highly appreciated, are on file with RADDHO and ABA ROLI. Prior to, and during, the assessment process, a review of key legislation and secondary sources was also conducted.


Reviewing the Justice and Security Hub Modality as Piloted in Liberia

‘The Republic of Bangui’ or ‘the Republic of Monrovia’ are phrases we sometimes hear from practitioners to describe post conflict countries where very few services exist outside the capital city. This is especially the case for security – the critical public good in post conflict countries. In response to the need to bring security services closer to the citizens who often need them most, the Government of Liberia and the United Nations are piloting a new approach financed by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) – the so-called ‘Justice and Security Hubs’. The donor community and the United Nations are watching closely. If this works, there is indication from UN officials that the model could potentially be replicated in other settings such as the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Haiti and the northern states of South Sudan. If the hub concept is capable of being adapted and successful elsewhere, the United Nations will not only have added a new instrument to its peacekeeping toolkit but will also firmly demonstrate how the UN Peacebuilding Fund can in essence be catalytic in fostering long-term and comprehensive approaches to peacebuilding. This practice note outlines the process of developing and constructing the first hub in Liberia, which is due to be partly operational by the end of 2012, and provides a prognosis on its chances for success.


Rebuilding Courts and Trust: An Assessment of the Needs of the Justice System in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) organised an international delegation of jurists to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in February 2009. The IBAHRI and ILAC mission was aimed at conducting a needs assessment of the Congolese judicial system in order to assess where expertise can be most constructively applied – both geographically and thematically – to assist the reconstruction of the justice system.

The aim of the report is not to present a full-scale analysis of the situation in the justice sector of the DRC. Instead, the report aims to assess the key areas where expertise and assistance can be most helpful to assist in reforming the Congolese justice system, based on what is planned and what is already being done regarding the DRC’s judiciary. The full conclusions and recommendations of the mission are set out in Chapter 7 of this report.


Reform without Ownership? Dilemmas in Supporting Security and Justice Sector Reform in Honduras

Honduras’ security and justice sector suffers from severe deficiencies. It remains largely inefficient and unable to safeguard security and the rule of law for its citizens. Criminal investigative units are plagued with serious problems of incompetence, corruption and progressive penetration by organised crime. The judiciary lacks independence and is subject to systematic political interference. Inter-institutional coordination is poor and flawed by a climate of mutual mistrust and rivalry over competencies.

This report describes and analyses the EU’s contribution to strengthening security and the rule of law in Honduras through a major security sector reform (SSR) programme earmarked with a budget of €44 million. The report underlines the crucial need for increased local ownership as a sine qua non condition if the EU’s endeavours are to trigger sustainable institutional change and thus further human security in Honduras. The report also examines prospects for the creation of an international commission against impunity, following the example of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).


The Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation - Building a Progressive Kenya - Our Common Vision: Vision of Stakeholders

This document reflects the discussions of the “Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation: Building a Progressive Kenya” conference, which took place in Nairobi on 5 – 6 December, 2011. Held in the aftermath of a process of nationwide dialogue and at the invitation of the AU Panel of Eminent African Personalities, various stakeholder groups representing a wide cross-section of views and perspectives of Kenyan society participated at this conference so as to coalesce these views around the implementation of the objectives and goals of the KNDR process


Report of the Liberia National Dialogue on Security Sector Reform

The National Dialogue, co-hosted by the Liberian Transitional Government and UNMIL, brings together all statutory security agencies of Liberia to help address the critical problem of Security Reform, which is attributed to the main causes of the Liberian conflict. This report summarizes the discussions that took place among these stakeholders


Transforming Internal Security in Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone Police and broader Justice Sector Reform

It is a striking feature of current international interventions that state institutions, even if their monopoly over the means of violence has disappeared, if indeed it ever existed, receive by far the most attention – and money. Peacebuilding and state-building continue to be considered two sides of the same coin.

This report analyses how Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and broader justice sector reform has been integral to the process of the country’s state-building process since before conflict officially came to an end in January 2002. The report begins with a summary of the political and security context in which SLP reforms began and an overview of key aspects of the SSR process in Sierra Leone. It then analyses the reform effort specifically, under four broad headings. First, it provides an account of the institutional and political framework within which reforms took place. Second, it reviews a number of technical and operational initiatives undertaken to move reform forward. Third, it reviews institutional reforms to support rebuilding of the SLP. Finally, it addresses broader justice reform efforts that began with initiation of the Justice Sector Development Programme ( JSDP) in 2005 and designed to be continued in the Improved Access to Security and Justice Programme (IASJP), scheduled to begin in 2010.


Statistiques Judiciaires burundaises Rendement, Délais et Typologie des Litiges dans les Tribunaux de Résidence

Cette compilation de statistiques constitue le volet quantitatif d’une recherche sur les problèmes de fonctionnement de la justice et d’exécution des jugements dans les régions rurales du Burundi. Elle complète deux études qualitatives publiées en 2008 et 2009. Etendue à quatre régions naturelles supplèmentaires, la poursuite du projet de recherche a abouti, en 2009, à un état des lieux concis et exhaustif de la justice en milieu rural. La publication intitulée « Burundi : La justice en milieu rural » dégage des pistes d’action et de réflexion concrètes pour l’amélioration de la situation actuelle.


Common Law and Civil Law Traditions

The goal of this Practitioners’ Guide is to provide an overview of both common law and civil law legal traditions—comparing and contrasting them—so that practitioners deploying to post-conflict or developing countries can become familiar with them, and more easily work in a country that follows a tradition that is unfamiliar to them.



These Principles were developed in order to provide guidance to those engaged in drafting, revising, or implementing laws or provisions relating to the state’s authority to withhold information on national security grounds or to punish the disclosure of such information.

They are based on international (including regional) and national law, standards, good practices, and the writings of experts.
They address national security—rather than all grounds for withholding information. All other public grounds for restricting access should at least meet these standards.

These Principles were drafted by 22 organizations and academic centres (listed in the Annex) in consultation with more than 500 experts from more than 70 countries at 14 meetings held around the world, facilitated by the Open Society Justice Initiative, and in consultation with the four special rapporteurs on freedom of expression and/or media freedom and the special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights:

 the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression,
 the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights,
 the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information,
 the Organization of American States (OAS) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, and
 the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media.


Justice and Security – When the State isn’t the Main Provider

Most people in the world do not take it for granted that the state can or will provide justice and security. Donors who seek to improve access to these services should abandon their concern with ‘what ought to be’ and focus on ‘what works’. This means supporting the providers that exist, and accepting that while wholesale change is not possible, gradual improvement is.


The Functioning of Judicial Systems and the Situation of the Economy in the European Union Member States

The EU Justice Scoreboard is a comparative tool, which seeks to provide reliable and objective data on the justice systems in all 27 Member States, and in particular on the quality, independence and efficiency of justice, which are the key components of an 'effective justice system'. Effective justice systems are crucial for growth and for the effective implementation of EU law, as national courts play an essential role in upholding EU law. Improving the quality, independence and efficiency of judicial systems already forms part of the EU’s economic policy coordination process under the European Semester.

When preparing the EU Justice Scoreboard for 2013, the European Commission asked the Council of Europe’s Commission for the Evaluation of the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) to collect relevant data and produce a Study on the functioning of judicial systems and the situation of the economy in the European Union Member States.


The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities of SSR 2013

On 2-3 October 2012, DCAF-ISSAT organised a High Level Panel (HLP) on Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in East Africa , in partnership with the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), the Governments of Burundi, Kenya, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Somalia and South Sudan, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union (AU), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN). It was attended by over two hundred SSR policy makers and practitioners.

This report seeks to take those discussions further, including more of the points raised by participants during the HLP, and adding in lessons from experience gathered from individual missions and related trainings. Three case studies featured in the HLP (Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan) and as such provide many of the examples, although the report also draws from examples beyond East Africa. An introductory section on SSR in each of these countries is provided in section one and full case studies are included in the annex.

This report, which keeps to the same thematic areas as those covered in the HLP, offers information on contemporary thinking in security and justice reform, and provides some recommendations and examples of good practice to those interested in or engaged in SSR.

Some videos interviews of the participants at the event are listed in the Related Resources column on the right of this webpage. A full list of available videos from this event are available under the documents tab on the HLP's Events page. Podcasts of all the sessions are available there also.


Judicial Benchbook: Considerations for Domestic Violence Case Evaluation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Domestic violence constitutes one of the most complicated and difficult socio-criminal issues confronted by judiciaries and criminal justice communities the world over, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The purpose of the Judicial Benchbook is to improve the judicial response to domestic violence and increase the consistency of judicial practice in cases of domestic violence in BiH.

The Benchbook was developed over a nine month period by a panel of nine judges from across BiH. The recommendations were later reviewed by BiH legal scholars and practitioners as well as the institutions responsible for providing continuing education to judges and prosecutors in BiH. The Benchbook represents the first of its kind in BiH – a resource on domestic violence developed by judges for judges. While the Benchbook is tailored for the specific legal context of BiH, the recommendations are appropriate for a wider context. As well, the methodology used to develop the Benchbook can serve as a model for similar work in other locations.


Etude sur l’aide légale en République démocratique du Congo

Cette étude a été réalisée par Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) à la demande du Programme d’Appui à la Réforme de la Justice (PARJ). Au niveau d’ASF, elle s’inscrit dans la continuité de travaux similaires menés au Burundi et plus récemment en Tunisie. Son objectif premier est de contribuer à la réflexion et à l’action des acteurs étatiques et non étatiques sur les mécanismes d’aide légale en République démocratique du Congo (RDC). 

Menée du 6 octobre au 6 décembre 2013, l’étude s’appuie sur des entretiens qualitatifs, individuels et collectifs, auprès de 145 professionnels (magistrats, avocats, défenseurs judiciaires et militaires, représentants associatifs, d’ONG et d’organisations internationales, responsables d’administrations publiques, et professionnels sociaux, etc.); une enquête qualitative auprès de 1571 justiciables; une étude documentaire et des observations d’audiences. Elle porte sur 6 provinces du pays (Kinshasa, Bas-Congo, Kasaï-Occidental, Province Orientale, Nord-Kivu et Sud-Kivu) toutes concernées par les entretiens; l’enquête quantitative cible les provinces de Kinshasa, du Bas-Congo et du Kasaï-Occidental, et réexploite des données collectées à l’Est (Nord et Sud-Kivu, Ituri en Province Orientale) dansle cadre de l’étude de base du projet Uhaki Safi (Programme d’Appui au Renforcement du Système Judiciaire à l’Est, PARJ-E), notamment 786 entretiens réalisés auprès de justiciables.

Le présent rapport est conçu avant tout comme un document ressource, un outil de travail et un support à la réflexion et au débat. Il s’efforce, dans une large mesure, de rendre compte d’expériences et de propositions des justiciables et des acteurs concernés.


Separating Law and Politics: Challenges to the Independence of Judges and Prosecutors in Egypt

In this report, the independence of the judiciary is examined with reference to Egypt’s laws and practice, as well as amendments to the existing law that have been proposed (Chapter Three). It finds that, although independence is constitutionally protected and the highest courts frequently rule against the government, the Ministry of Justice is given wide powers over judges which provide scope for abuse. These include the right to assign judges to courts around the country, the ability to decide which judges are seconded to work in government ministries and the right to initiate disciplinary actions against judges. These powers threaten independence as they allow the Minister to reward or punish serving judges, and therefore provide an incentive for judges to please the government.

The legal framework also gives a role to the executive branch in the appointments system, particularly at the higher judicial level, allowing scope for politicised decision-making. A lack of transparency and the absence of public examinations for appointments also leads to a perception – if not a reality – of nepotism.


Judicial Reform in Europe - Part I

Reform of the judiciary is a matter of special interest for the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ). This report examines the reform measures implemented or planned in the countries which participated in the works of the Project Team “Judicial reform in Europe”, providing the ENCJ view and identifying recommendations.

To view the second part with concrete guidelines, please follow this link.


République démocratique du Congo - Le secteur de la justice et l’Etat de droit

Le rapport sur le Secteur de la justice et l’Etat de droit s’interroge sur la capacité du secteur de la justice congolais à promouvoir, respecter et faire respecter la règle de droit, ainsi que les défis inhérents à ce secteur. Il dresse en outre un tableau éloquent des écueils qui affectent la gouvernance du secteur de la justice au Congo et sa capacité de répondre aux standards démocratiques, ainsi qu’aux besoins d’accès à la justice de la population du Congo. Il dresse enfin un ableau critique sur l’efficacité de l’aide dans ce secteur et plaide pour une meilleure coordination des partenaires echniques et financiers de la RDC, ainsi que pour un leadership du Gouvernement congolais dans la programmation et l’exécution des reformes dans le secteur  de la justice.


Sierra Leone - Justice Sector and the Rule of Law

The study’s objective is to identify opportunities and highlight challenges in the justice sector in Sierra Leone, in line with the Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project's overall objectives to monitor observance of acceptable standards and commitments relating to participatory democracy, transparent and accountable governance, human rights, the rule of law and public service delivery by African states.

This report assesses Sierra Leone’s compliance with international, regional and national laws and standards, respect for the rule of law, human rights and the administration of justice, the frameworks and capacity of the justice sector, accessibility of the justice system, independence and accountability of judges and lawyers. The report highlights the challenges, constraints and successes and makes recommendations for necessary reforms  to improve the functionality and effectiveness of the sector.


Waiting for Change: The Impact of Transition on Local Justice and Security in Yemen

This report looks at the political transition and government reform in Yemen following the Arab Spring upheavals. It provides a snapshot of how the changing dynamics have affected local security and justice conditions in four politically and geographically diverse regions of Yemen.


Strengthening Prosecutorial Accountability in South Africa

As gatekeepers to the criminal justice system, prosecutors are its most powerful officials. Prosecutors’ considerable discretion – about whom to charge and for which crimes – affects the lives and fate of thousands of criminal suspects, and the safety and security of all citizens.

Yet, in South Africa, no dedicated oversight and accountability mechanism scrutinises the activities of the country’s prosecutors. Constructive oversight can assist the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to enhance both its performance and public confidence in its work.

The paper reviews a number of prosecutorial accountability mechanisms drawing on real-world examples. These mechanisms are assessed and their applicability to the South African context is critically explored.


Independent Progress Review on the UN Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections

This report presents the results of an independent review of the progress that the GFP initiative has made since January 2012, conducted at the request of the GFP managers, by a joint research team from the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), the Stimson Center and the Folke Bernadotte Academy.

Source: http://www.clingendael.nl/publication/progress-review-un-global-focal-point-police-justice-corrections


UN Police, Justice and Corrections Programming in Guinea-Bissau - A Compact Case Study

Case studies on police, justice and corrections programming for nine UN complex operations and special political missions were developed by Stimson’s Future of Peace Operations Program at the request of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) of the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations. They are descriptive rather than analytic documents that help to organize, by mission, the issues and activities that the main study, Understanding Impact of Police, Justice and Corrections in UN Peace Operations, treats functionally, across cases, and are summarized in the study’s annexes. 


The Security Sector in Southern Africa

The Security Sector Governance (SSG) Programme of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) conducted baseline studies of the security sector in six Southern African countries, namely Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as the Southern African Development Community’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (SADC Organ). The results of this research are reflected in this monograph.


Report on Judicial Systems in the Americas 2006-2007. Background information on the Haiti judicial system

This chapter provides background information on the Haiti judicial system. It is based on the Introduction to the Caribbean Community contained in this report; the Report on Judicial Systems in the Americas 2004-2005; the report “Haiti: Failed Justice or the Rule of Law? Challenges Ahead for Haiti and the International Community” (2006), Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2005, published by the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; the World Bank report “Doing Business” (2006); and data gathered via Internet.


Haiti: Justice Reform and the Security Crisis

The dysfunctional state of Haiti’s justice system has impeded implementation of democratic reforms since the collapse of the Duvalier dictatorship. In spite of robust international efforts for six years following Aristide’s 1994 restoration, little lasting progress has been made, and there has even been regression in some areas. The lack of political will of successive Haitian governments has been the major factor but donor approaches have also suffered from flawed methodology.


Rule of Law Technical Assistance in Haiti. Lessons Learned

Strengthening the rule of law in Haiti poses a major challenge to both the Haitian Government and several donors. For the Government the challenge is to ensure that the opportunity presented by the return to constitutional order in 1994 is used to construct new and reformed rule-of-law institutions against a background of decades of repression and systematic human rights violations. For donors, the challenge since 1994 has been how to advance a reform process in a political environment not conducive to change and characterized by protracted political crisis and paralysis.


Haiti. Stabilisation and Reconstruction after the Quake

The earthquake that hit Haiti was the deadliest natural disaster ever in the Western Hemisphere. It caused enormous human suffering and physical destruction, the extent and impact of which were multiplied by the country’s longstanding structural problems, such as pervasive poverty, urban overcrowding, unplanned urbanisation and environmental degradation. A long history of corrupt and inefficient governments, centralised political power, extremely inequitable income distribution and by no means always benign foreign interventions has been immensely compounded by the natural disaster. The consequences threaten to undermine the slight progress toward stability and development that had been made since President René Préval took office in 2006.


CIGI SSR Monitor. Haiti NO. 1

When the new constitution came into effect in 1987, the Haitian security and justice sector was weak and fractured. The army was intent on playing an internal policing role, the judicial system was corrupt and ineffective, and the local and national governance institutions were incapable of asserting democratic civilian control of the sector.


MINUSTAH: DDR and Police, Judicial and Correctional Reform in Haiti. Recommendations for change

This paper sets out five recommendations for change of United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti’s (MINUSTAH) mandate on 15 August 2006. In addition it sets out
recommendations for disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR), and police, judicial and correctional reform that can be realised under the current mandate. These recommendations reflect the current situation in Haiti and are based on an analysis of what is feasible and can be realistically implemented given the existing circumstances. The paper highlights changes that are necessary in the immediate future to enhance DDR, police, judicial and correctional reform so as to ensure human security, local ownership, security and stability in Haiti. DDR and rule of law are critical to ensure sustainable peace, therefore these must receive a strengthened and renewed focus from MINUSTAH and the new Haitian government. The international community and the Haitian government should take advantage of the current window of opportunity to promote sustainable reform and reduction of violence in the Haitian context.


Haiti: Failed Justice or the Rule of Law? Challenges Ahead for Haiti and the International Community

The report provides a detailed analysis of three key aspects of administration of justice in the country: law enforcement and the Haitian National Police; the judiciary; and the system of detention facilities and prisons. As part of this analysis, the Commission addresses the particular problem of impunity and lack of public confidence in the justice system as well as the involvement of the international community in Haiti.


Audit of USAID Haiti’s Justice Program

While the justice program has not yet produced measurable improvements in the efficiency or effectiveness of Haiti’s court system, USAID’s contractor has helped lay a basis for future progress in these areas. We were unable to fully determine whether planned results were achieved because USAID/Haiti established baselines and targets to measure only one of its two performance indicators for its justice program activities.


Overview of jamaican Justice System Reform. Issues and Initiatives. Preliminary revised Draft

This document provides an overview of Jamaican justice reform issues and initiatives. It is a preliminary draft based on written sources made available to the author. The accuracy and completeness of this overview document will be verified through consultations with the Jamaican Justice System Reform Task Force (JJSRTF) and other key informants and a revised draft will be prepared. It is anticipated that this document will serve as a base document for the reform process and in particular, as a briefing document for members of the JJSRTF, the Working Groups and the Canadian Advisory Committee. This overview is divided into three sections: (I) a list of current justice system reform issues; (II) a list of recent and ongoing justice reform initiatives; and (III) summaries of past justice reform reports and studies (focusing on recommendations that have been made).


The Rule of Law in Independent Kosovo

This report surveys the Kosovo domestic legal system. More than two years after declaring independence, Kosovo struggles with uneven rule of law and a weak justice system that is failing its citizens. The police, public prosecutors and courts are erratic performers, prone to political interference and abuse of office. Organised crime and corruption are widespread and growing. Realising that prosperity, relations with the European Union (EU) and affirmation as an independent state depend on the rule of law, the government has taken important steps, replacing key officials and passing long-delayed reforms. But critical weaknesses remain, notably in the courts, and the government, supported by the international community, must act swiftly to curtail them.


European Commission 2009 Progress Report on Kosovo

This report briefly describes the relations between Kosovo1 and the Union; analyses the political situation in Kosovo in terms of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, protection of minorities, and regional issues; analyses the economic situation in Kosovo; reviews Kosovo’s capacity to implement European standards, that is, to gradually
approximate its legislation and policies with those of the acquis, in line with the European Partnership priorities. The period covered by this report is from early October 2008 to mid-September 2009.


Local perspectives: foreign aid to the justice sector

The meaningful participation of beneficiaries in aid programmes directed to human rights reform is crucial to their success. Their views on ways to improve them deserve serious attention. In interviews with beneficiaries in four countries we were told that aid for reform has had an impact. In the justice sector (the focus of our study) foreign
aid has facilitated constitutional development and legislative reforms and helped expand civil society and transform the justice system. Aid programmes have helped introduce human rights concepts into public consciousness and public institutions in societies where such notions were once seen as subversive.
We were also told that human rights assistance can be wasteful and even do harm. Badly conceived and implemented programmes have sheltered repressive regimes from scrutiny, wasted vital resources and distorted domestic institutions. Donors sometimes promote inappropriate models and put their foreign policy interests before human rights. They can be unreliable partners, subject to quick fixes and too much attention on “exit strategies”. Success depends on many factors, not least paying more attention to local perspectives. This report sets out some of the main issues. It offers signposts that we hope will be useful to both donors and beneficiaries looking for ways
to strengthen the impact of human rights assistance.


Local Ownership and Security Sector Reform

Over the past two decades, in response to the underwhelming results of international development efforts across the Third World, arguments concerning the importance of local ownership have been gaining currency within the international development community. At its core, the discourse around ownership revolves around fundamental questions of agency: who decides, who controls, who implements, and who evaluates. The growing emphasis on local ownership, then, emerged as a critique of mainstream development practice and the broader cult of Western expertise which underpins it. As Joseph Stiglitz argued a decade ago, a vision of development in which all the answers and all the agency are seen to lie in the hands of foreigners is inherently problematic and ultimately self-defeating: ‘We have seen again and again that [local] ownership is essential for successful transformation: policies that are imposed from outside may be grudgingly accepted on a superficial basis, but will rarely be implemented as intended’. Since then, the principle of local ownership has been viewed increasingly as a precondition for effective development assistance, even if
the translation of the principle into actual practice remains an ongoing challenge.


The Democratic Republic of Congo Military justice and human rights – An urgent need to complete reforms

This discussion paper will review some of those issues, which are analysed in greater detail in the main report: Democratic Republic of Congo: Military justice and human rights – An urgent need to complete reforms. By examining Congolese military justice within its historical and institutional contexts, the main report outlines its strengths and weaknesses and defines the necessary conditions for its reform. The present paper focuses on the points that warrant urgent and specific attention by the authorities in charge of conducting military justice reforms. It picks out the issues analysed in the main report that seem to be most urgently in need of reform. It also proposes directions for such reforms. The objective of the proposed reforms is to ensure that military justice complies as closely as possible with the principles laid down by the constitution and international standards regarding the independence of the justice system and the right to a fair trial.
In particular, the report highlights three areas of urgent reform. First, the jurisdiction of military courts should be restricted to members of the military, and not extend to civilians. Secondly, the independence of military judges should be guaranteed and political interference in the conduct of trials cease. Thirdly, much stronger protections should be given to ensure the right to a fair trial in the military courts, in particular by limiting the discretionary power of the military judges. These reforms will need to be paired, of course, with parallel reforms in the ordinary court system, to ensure that civilians accused of serious crimes can be brought to justice with respect for due process.


Traditional Justice and Reconciliation after Violent Conflict Learning from African Experiences

The report is intended to serve both as a general knowledge resource and as a practitioner’s guide for national bodies seeking to employ traditional justice mechanisms as well as external agencies aiming to support such processes. It suggests that in some circumstances traditional mechanisms can effectively complement conventional judicial systems and represent a real potential for promoting justice, reconciliation and a culture of democracy.
In addition, even in situations where communities are more inclined to demand straightforward retribution against the perpetrators, traditional justice mechanisms may
still offer a way both of restoring a sense of accountability and of linking justice to democratic development.


Justice Components in United Nations Peace Operations

The purpose of this policy is to define the objectives, principles and functions of justice components of United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political
missions managed by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (hereafter “peace operations” or “missions”). In addition, this policy provides an illustrative list of the
substantive areas in which justice components may be engaged, as well as the partners with whom justice components must work in order to achieve their objectives. Finally, the policy provides guidance on basic management issues relating to justice components, including organizational structure, link to Headquarters, sub-programme plans, personnel, training, budget and reporting.


Access to Justice: Practice Note

This practice note is intended to suggest strategies for UNDP support to access to justice, particularly for the poor and disadvantaged, including women, children, minorities, persons living with HIV/AIDS and disabilities. Part II of the note emphasizes the need to focus on capacities to seek and provide remedies for injustice and outlines the normative principles that provide the framework within which these capacities can be developed. Part III of the note sets out principles for action, approaches and techniques that can be used by UNDP practitioners involved in access to justice programming. It also suggests steps in policy dialogue, partnership building, design, implementation and execution that are intended to increase the likelihood of success of access to justice programmes. Part III also highlights issues related to monitoring and evaluation that are particularly important, including the use of disaggregated data to indicate whether there have been results for different poor and disadvantaged groups. Part IV suggests ways to capitalize on UNDP’s advantage as an impartial and trusted partner of developing countries, and suggests possible entry points for programming. Finally, Part V lists knowledge resources for practitioners engaged in access to justice programming.


Roundtable on Security Sector Expenditure Reviews; Nairobi, Kenya 1 October 2012

On 1 October 2012 the roundtable on Security Sector Expenditure Reviews, hosted by the World Bank Global Centre on Conflict, Security and Development in Nairobi, Kenya and organised in partnership with DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team, brought together economists and Security Sector Reform (SSR) practitioners and experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities for supporting the conduct of expenditure reviews and enhancing financial management in the security sector. 

The roundtable considered past and ongoing security sector expenditure reviews, in particular in Afghanistan and Liberia.  It sought to examine the challenges, trends and prospects of including similar reviews in other post-conflict countries.  It also provided a platform for economists and SSR practitioners to discuss how they can better collaborate to promote and enhance security sector expenditure review processes.  In addition, the roundtable included discussions on how such expenditure reviews can enhance ongoing SSR efforts and how to ensure that financial management becomes more integrated in SSR processes.


Building the Rule of Law in Haiti: New Laws for a New Era

USIP has been working with lawmakers and other reform constituencies in Haiti as they strive to reform Haiti’s criminal laws that date back to the early 19th century. In March
2009, USIP commissioned two reports that were written by Louis Aucoin, a professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and Hans Joerg Albrecht, the director of the Max Planck Institute of Foreign and International Criminal Law. At the request of Haitian lawmakers, USIP has also provided copies of the Model Codes for Post-Conflict Criminal Justice, a law reform tool developed by USIP’s Rule of Law Program to assist in the drafting of new laws.


Security Sector Reform and the Rule of Law

Stabilisation Issues Notes provide a short summary of what the Stabilisation Unit has learned to date. They have been developed on the basis of experience and are aimed at improving the effectiveness of our practical engagement in various aspects of stabilisation. They are aimed primarily at the Stabilisation Unit‟s own practitioners and consultants, and those of other HMG departments. They are not a formal statement of HMG policy.

Key Messages
1) Stabilisation planning and implementation is about identifying / addressing the specific activities required to achieve political stability in countries emerging from conflict.
2) Promoting the rule of law in stabilisation environments can help a state to increase its legitimacy, allow fairer political negotiation and uphold the implementation of political agreements. The most urgent priority is often establishing law and order, meeting internal security needs and ensuring basic functioning of the criminal justice system.
3) Security Sector Stabilisation (SSS) activities enable essential and minimum security functions to be established and maintained to achieve stabilisation  objectives. They are not the same as Security System Reform (SSR) in more benign environments; they should however help create the conditions for SSR, when conditions permit.
4) The urgency of meeting security needs has often led to quick fix approaches and a singular focus on expanding the size of a single organisation often with a „train and equip‟ mentality. This will often fall short of providing the kind of support that will contribute to lasting security outcomes.