Government Leaders and UNDP Discuss New Programme to Strengthen Justice System

01 Oct 2013

imageLeaders of Timor-Leste’s justice institutions reviewing UNDP’s new Justice System Programme for 2014-2018: Dr. Sergio Hornai, Public Defender General; Jose Ximenes, Prosecutor General; Ivo Valente Vice Minister of Justice; Dr. Claudio Ximenes, Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal; Duarte Tilman, Judge Administrator, Dili District Court; and Antoninho Goncalves, Judge, Dili District Court. Photo: Jeanne Finestone/UNDP TL

Dili – Leaders of Timor-Leste’s justice institutions met with leaders of UNDP’s Justice System Programme (JSP) today to discuss the new framework for future UNDP assistance in strengthening the country’s justice system. Developed in consultation with UNDP’s government counterparts, the new five year project builds on the positive results achieved since it was launched a decade ago and will cover the period from the end of October 2013 to 2018. (Lee versaun Tetum iha ne'e)

The new project will support systematizing and improving the existing mechanisms for policy making and strategic planning. It will focus on planning, management and administration processes including helping the justice sector move towards evidence-based approaches.  Improved planning, management and administration will translate into improved access to justice by: reducing backlogs; enhancing the responsiveness of institutions to public needs; increasing the speed of justice processes; improving  professionalism and performance; and ensuring that transparency and accountability are systematized.

The Council of Coordination, consisting of H.E. Dr. Dionisio Babo, Minister of Justice (represented by the Vice Minister of Justice, Dr Ivo Valente), H.E. Dr. Claudio Ximenes, President of the Court of Appeal, H.E. Dr. Jose’ Ximenes, Prosecutor General, H.E. Dr. Sergio Hornai, Public Defender invited Dr. Marcelina Tilman, Director of the Legal Training Center (LTC) and the Judge Administrator for Dili District Court, Dr Duarte Tilman to provide input to the meeting.  The Prosecutor General, the Public Defender and Dr Duarte Tilman are all graduates of the LTC’s first course for magistrates in 2007. The LTC was established in 2004 with UNDP support and its graduates form the backbone of the country’s legal system

“By scaling up efforts for more specialized and systematized professional development, the justice sector can take the necessary leap to becoming fully staffed and professionalized institutions, capable of responding to a variety of specialized needs,” said Noura Hamladji, UNDP Country Director a.i. “The new project will also continue to emphasize the need to support the embedding of ethics and human rights-based practices which is important to promoting equal access to justice for all.”

The new project document is expected to be formally presented and signed by the Council of Coordination before 31 October 2013 for implementation beginning November 2013.