Human Capacity for the Ministry of Justice
At the time of Independence, Eritrea did not have its own civil law system in place. The only legal instruments available were those introduced by the Ethiopian government, which did not reflect the socio-cultural and traditional values of the Eritrean society. In the interim, Eritrea adopted, with some amendments, the Ethiopian civil law system as provisional measure to developing its own legal system.
Despite being amended, these de facto legal instruments failed to reflect the economic and social policies and principles of the new State of Eritrea. On the other hand, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) lacked the institutional capacity and human resources base necessary for carrying out its legislative mandate efficiently and overseeing administrative matters in Eritrean Courts effectively. This calls for comprehensive revision of the various legal codes and the strengthening of the institutional and human resources capacity of the justice sector.
Enhancing the institutional capacity of the justice system to promote the rule of law is a key component of the Eritrean Government's development policy. To achieve this, and in line with the UNDAF (2007-2011) objectives, support will be provided to build human and institutional capacity of the various arms of the justice system, including community courts, to further improve the delivery of fair and equal justice, render effective legal services, and implement approved laws.
Through the project, Mekerka Training Centre will be equipped and further strengthened to develop various training programmes, and to provide training and awareness programmes to the judiciary and law enforcement bodies. It will also conduct studies on harmonisation of traditional and cultural factors taking applicable conventions such as CEDAW into consideration.
UNDP will also support effectiveness and efficiency in the Ministry of Justice by re-organizing administrative functions, enhancing staff capacities, and introducing new systems for monitoring and assessing performance and managing the court process. Moreover, this programme will support the Government's on-going efforts in the establishment of a well-functioning office to coordinate and follow-up on treaties, agreements and conventions signed by Eritrea.
To promote efficiency in the operations of the Ministry of Justice, support will be provided to develop Management Information Systems. The focus will be on the implementation of a pilot case management system and on the establishment of a local area network to link the Judiciary, Attorney General's Office, courts, and other offices of the Ministry of Justice located in Asmara to produce information needed to track cases and identify problems in case flow.
UNDP will also provide support to enhance public awareness with regard to new and existing laws through the development of training courses and publicity material. This will be augmented through the development of national civic education programmes through various channels and institutions, to be provided in local languages and in English. This joint programme will also be supported by UNFPA.
- Training programmes developed and staff of the MOJ trained
- Organizational structure of the MoJ reviewed and new structure proposed
- Civic education programmes developed and launched
- Case management information system developed in selected Regional High Courts.