Afghanistan adopts UN policy tool to restore confidence in judicial institutions

Afghanistan has joined three other countries in adopting a United Nations (UN) policy tool aimed at strengthening public confidence in judicial institutions.

The Afghanistan Rule of Law Indicators Study (ROLIS) report, released at a press conference in Kabul this week, is based on a UN analysis mechanism designed for national governments, said a statement issued by UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Thursday.

Three other countries – South Sudan, Liberia and Haiti – have used this mechanism to measure the effectiveness of law enforcement, judicial and correctional institutions.

“For too long this last decade, during which more than 1 billion USD was spent supporting rule of law assistance by donors, there has been a need for reliable baseline indicators to enable the government and courts to evaluate the needs of and progress in the justice sector,” said Michael Hartmann, UNAMA’s Rule of Law chief.

“ROLIS meets this requirement,” said Mr. Hartmann. “Most importantly, the ROLIS indicators have been revised from the original model to truly reflect Afghan circumstances, concerns and legal culture through two years of the National Working Group’s expert work.”

Measuring performance against more than 100 baseline indicators – in Afghan courts, prisons, policing and other justice sector components – involved surveys, discussion groups and expert reviews, the statement said.

UNAMA, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Afghan government institutions “worked together” to produce the report, the statement noted.

“The mechanism is expected to become a key part of justice sector reform, particularly in strengthening rule of law and in restoring the confidence of the people in justice institutions,” reads the statement.

Afghanistan ROLIS national working group is scheduled to finalize the report’s recommendations, from which a national action plan will be developed.

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