Justice Sector Facility
What is the project about?
Promotion and the protection of access to justice is a key priority for the Government of Bangladesh. But the justice sector faces several constraints in delivering timely, affordable and accessible justice. One of the barriers is the slow processing rate of cases and the accumulation of unprocessed cases. This backlog is placing considerable pressure on the sector and is hampering access to justice, whether it is due to too complex procedures, lack of effective case management between agencies, or outdated laws. A lack of coordination and cooperation between justice sector agencies, which are heavily interdependent upon one another, is another impediment in delivering justice efficiently.
The Justice Sector Facility (JSF) project is being implemented by the Law and Justice Division of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and is supported by UNDP Bangladesh and UKAid. It is working to help justice sector institutions in Bangladesh move towards a more coordinated approach to their work and to bring about more effective case management. It is also helping to strengthen institutional planning capacities across the justice sector and to raise awareness of legal aid and improve its administration. It is doing this through:
• work in two pilot districts to improve communication, coordination and cooperation (3Cs) between justice sector institutions;
• interventions at the central level to develop strategic plans and to strengthen the capacities of key justice sector agencies to plan and budget, as well as to monitor and evaluate their work;
• advocacy at the national level based on lessons learned at the district and central level interventions to create a better understanding and appreciation of the benefits of improved 3Cs leading to the establishment of a mechanism for sector coordination.
What have we accomplished so far?
Various initiatives have been undertaken in the two project pilot districts at Pabna and Comilla.
Criminal Justice Co-ordination Committees (CJCCs) have been established to instill and promote the concept of coordinated working among the justice sector institutions working there. Operationalisation of these committees was confirmed in a circular issued by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs on 23 January, 2014 following consent given by the Supreme Court. The committees have already begun to have an impact with a reduction in the increase of pending cases being recorded in both pilot districts.
Work has also been undertaken to assess ICT requirements in the two pilot districts. This will enable the planning of sustainable ICT infrastructures and the design of software solutions for improved information sharing to facilitate identification of priority cases for backlog reduction.
Training sessions with District Legal Aid Officers in the two pilot districts have also been initiated. These are aimed at enhancing their skills and knowledge base and assisting them to improve Legal Aid service delivery.
There have also been numerous initiatives on a national level.
Bangladesh’s first “National legal Aid Day” was observed on April 28, 2013, presided over by the honorable Prime Minister, with UNDP’s logistical and technical support to the National Legal Aid Services Organization (NLASO).
A legal aid cell at the labor court was established by NLASO with UNDP’s support and was officially endorsed by the Prime Minister and the Law Minister on National Legal Aid Day. By 20 January 2014 the Cell had already advised nearly one thousand low-paid workers on employment matters.
With UNDP support key justice sector institutions are working to develop their strategic planning, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation capabilities along with their ICT machinery.
Finally, various analyses and surveys have been planned and commissioned to provide enhanced understanding of the nature of the justice sector nationally and in the two pilot districts. These will be completed in early to mid-2014.
More detailed information can be found about the overall activities and progress at JSF project website http://jsf-undp.org/.
Who finances it?
|Funding Gap||$ 8,00,000|
Delivery in previous fiscal years