The programme has been developed based on the independent evaluation of the previous Joint Rule of Law Programme, as well as different studies. A lengthy consultation process has taken place from September to June 2018 with the FG Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court, Attorney General Office and the Federal Member States as well as with donors. As a result, the new programme will focus more on courts and AGOs office as well as delivery of services at community level. As a joint programme, it represents a partnership between the United Nations, the Government of Somalia and the international community. The programme takes place within an architecture under the National Development Plan, including high level coordination between donors, Government and the UN via the RoL Working Group including the CAS Strand 2C.
This programme aims to contribute to sustainable security, peace and development by strengthening RoL actors to increasingly deliver to justice system users and community justice services in a human rights compliant manner. As part of the state building and federalization process, the programme will focus on laying out the foundations of a formal justice system that offers increasingly professional and standardized justice services as a basis for its gradual expansion. This includes a clear legal framework particularly on judicial organization, establishment key justice institutions at FMS and FG levels, definition of policies and procedures for selection, discipline and career of justice personnel as well as court administration and case management. It will also support the capacities of the justice system to gradually process criminal cases in parallel to the establishment of Criminal Investigation Department and Units across Somalia. Finally, it will seek to increase access to justice for the most vulnerable women, youth and children as well as members of minority clans through an integrated justice system that includes courts and AGO and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Emphasis will be placed on bringing changes within the traditional justice system mechanisms to enable it to maintain relations among clans while also protecting individual rights.
What have we accomplished so far?
The Justice Programme builds upon some of the successes of the Joint Rule of Law programme. These successes were identified by stakeholders during the final programme evaluation, and also during consultations to develop the SJC programme document:
• The importance of providing support to the establishment of new Federal member states, notwithstanding the programme, logistical and security challenges associated with this.
• The ongoing support to dialogue on the Justice and Correction Model has provided a structured process for engagement between the Federal Government and member states, leading to frameworks clarifying the roles and responsibilities of each authority.
• The UN has a recognised convening role, in its capacity to engage with Government, donors, civil society and other bilaterally funded implementers to promote coherent approaches. Notably the UN can promote engagement around national plans and strategies, rather than disjointed bilateral activities.
• The use of third party monitoring agents and structured monitoring frameworks has the potential to provide an independent basis of evidence to assess progress and challenges during implementation.
• Commendable progress has been made in strengthening various parts of the justice and security system, notably:
o Sustained engagement in law student scholarships and internship programmes has progressively increased the technical capacity and legal competency of justice sector personnel.
o A specific focus on training and empowering female prosecutors to prosecute cases of SGBV has begun to show benefits.
o Mobile courts and legal aid initiatives have helped justice providers reach out to communities.
o Significant investments have been made in the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure.
o The ADR Centre approach provides a model for collaboration between the Government and community elders on conflict resolution, with potential benefits for the disputants, elders and Government.