What We Do

 

CONTEXT:

Equitable access to justice for all citizens including women and vulnerable groups is a key priority for the Government of Bangladesh. However, the justice sector in Bangladesh is facing several constraints in delivering timely, affordable and accessible justice. One of the key obstacles is the slow disposal rate and corresponding build-up of large numbers of case backlogs. This is placing considerable pressure on the sector and is hampering efforts to improve the justice system. It is also symptomatic of a number of other issues, including complex procedures and a lack of effective case management between agencies. Other issues are the lack of adequate capacity of justice sector agencies, outdated laws, incentives for lawyers to delay rather than resolve cases, and complexity in executing trial procedures. A lack of coordination and cooperation between justice sector agencies, which are heavily interdependent is another impediment in delivering justice efficiently

The project is a justice sector institutional capacity building and legal policy reform initiative to improve timely, affordable and accessible justice delivery in Bangladesh. It works to improve sector wide capacity, coordination and cooperation between justice agencies focusing on activities in three pilot districts in order for them to better collectively deal with reform in the justice sector and improve access to justice particularly for vulnerable groups.

TARGETS:

  1. Communication, coordination and cooperation between justice agencies enhanced in three pilot districts through the establishment of solutions for inter-agency case management;
  2. Selected agencies have improved strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, delivery of government legal aid, and prosecution of cases;
  3. Strengthened cross sectoral dialogue and sector wide coordination mechanism established.

IMPACT:

A model for a sector wide coordination mechanism between the justice institutions has been designed. This follows extensive consultation and lobbying at districts as well as central level with key justice sector stakeholders. A major achievement of the project has been to consolidate the justice sector stakeholder platform bringing together key justice sector decision-makers around crucial issues of reform of the justice sector. In bringing together the range of justice stakeholders it is forging a consensus around priority areas and highlights common ground to develop solutions for alleviating the backlog of cases and improving the flow of cases in the courts to ensure better, more efficient and transparent access to justice.

Criminal Justice Coordination Committee committees in the pilot districts are operational with operational guidelines that oversee the pilot schemes now have a costed work plan that is being implemented as the committees commence their activities. Piloting of a case database system has been initiated to provide transparency using management tools such as real time monitoring of case flows. This is linked with a central server acting as the nodal point for case information in the pilot districts allowing better access t

As a result of the seed fund programme seven justice sector institutions have improved their institutional capacities to deliver services, legal aid and research to improve insights in to cases involving violence against women, development of training material and increasing access to justice for minorities

The Ministry of Law is preparing for the establishment of a national platform, National Justice Coordination Committee for coordination by including Justice sector institutions at national level enhancing a mechanism through cross sectoral dialogue which will improve accountability between and within the sector for improved case management and justice service delivery.

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