Portugal pledges US$1.17 million for justice programme

30 Nov 2012

imageA mobile justice hearing conducted by Suai District Court in 2012. Photo Slava Mysak/UNDP Justice System Programme

Dili – Justice institutions in Timor-Leste will be further strengthened with a contribution of US$1.17 million (€900 000) from the Government of Portugal.

The funds will be used to improve citizen’s access to justice, and to support relevant civil society organizations and legal institutions including the Courts, prosecution services, the Ministry of Justice, the Public Defender’s Office, prison services and the Legal Training Centre.

Initiatives such as public legal awareness campaigns and a mobile justice programme will also benefit.

Portuguese Ambassador, Luis Barreira de Sousa and the United Nations Acting Special Representative of the Secretary General and UNDP Resident Representative, Finn Reske-Nielsen, signed an agreement on the grant today.

“The renewal of our contribution to the Justice System Programme (JSP) of UNDP demonstrates our recognition of its success in strengthening the independence of the judicial system which has been a common concern of CPLP members, as reflected in the conclusions of the recent Dili meeting of the Presidents of the High Courts’ [of Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, CPLP],” said Ambassador Barreira.

This contribution comes during a crucial period as UNMIT’s peacekeeping mission closes at the end of the year. Effective and accessible justice is critical for stability and equitable development in Timor-Leste.

“This contribution will enable crucial and sustained UN support to the justice sector, at a time when UNMIT is drawing down and will further promote the rule of law and access to justice in Timor-Leste,” said Mr Finn Reske-Nielsen.

UNDP’s JSP is supported by Brazil, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.