Electoral Justice Workshops for Legal Professionals

Jun 26, 2017

On the 21st and 22nd of June, UNDP and the Legal and Judicial Training Centre hosted a one-and-a-half-day workshop on the legal framework of the upcoming national parliamentary elections. Approximately 30 legal professionals attended from various national legal institutions including Dili, Baucau, Suai and Oecusse district courts, the Public Defender’s Office, the Ombudsmen Office for Human Rights, the Commission of Anti-Corruption and Scientific Police for Criminal Investigation

The workshops consisted of four participatory seminars hosted by legal experts and representatives from bodies such as the National Electoral Commission (CNE) and Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE). The seminars covered a range of topics including new laws which will come into effect for the parliamentary elections, such as the increased minimum threshold for parties to hold seats in parliament and the introduction of absentee voting for Timorese citizens in Australia and Europe as well as proving opportunities for speakers from CNE to clarify the role of the independent body in ensuring that the electoral process is free and fair.     

Participants engaged in fruitful discussions around the expected impacts of new electoral laws, and how Timor-Leste’s legal and regulatory bodies can work together to minimize the potential for disputes arising during and after the election and political campaign period. Dr. Alvaro Maria Freitas, Judge Administrator of the Suai District Court found the workshop “very informative and useful” in relation to her work as a judge, since he had not heard many of the topics covered in the seminars raised before.

UNDP is supporting the Magistrate’s Court and continuing legal education through the deployment of the Senior Pedagogical Advisor/Judge and Lecturer at the Legal and Judicial Training Centre. This support is funded by the Governments of Japan and Korea.