Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Judicial System Needs Reforms

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Judicial System Needs Reforms

Access to justice is one of the citizens’ fundamental rights and its provision is in need of sound, effective and independent society. Lack of citizens’ access to justice or strict restriction in this regard is one of the insurmountable challenges in the country. Likewise, the long and complicated system of bureaucracy and large-scale corruption in institutions resulted in citizens’ mistrust to the executive body. According to citizens’ belief, justice and judicial system in Afghanistan is not satisfactory and will not ensure justice in terms of individuals’ rights in the society. On the other hand, reforming institutions, mainly justice and judicial system, is and will be government’s commitment. Therefore, the state has strong determination for reforming legal and judicial system seeking to utilize the existing resources and capacities appropriately and take practical step in this respect. The international community’s legal organization in Afghanistan also agrees with this issue and reiterates that for reviving justice and judicial system, Afghan government will have to focus seriously on rule of law, ensure justice and prioritize protecting citizens’ rights as an organized strategy. Considering national programs for reforming justice and judiciary, Afghan government, along with the aid of its international allies, seeks to begin reformation. It further decides to ensure law and justice in the best possible way and implement law fairly via building capacity and employing expert manpower.
Afghans’ high expectation is that the government, along with the support of international community, will fulfill its commitment vis-à-vis the rule of law through reforming justice and judicial system. Lately, the state and the international community made effort to resolve the challenges in institutions via conducting short-term educational programs for judges and district attorneys. However, it did not have a palpable result. Lack of information regarding the necessities of legal services in districts and provinces for an accurate evaluation about challenges in institutions is one of the major issues. Nonetheless, it is believed that realizing the deficiencies and defects in all fields, mainly in justice and judicial system, will be the most significant step in implementing an effective plan for reformation. Thus, the relevant institutions do not merely complete the National Action Plan on Judicial Reform, but seek to adapt their plans according to the existing problems and needs of different regions (provinces and districts).  
As it is necessary to strengthen and reform the security forces, we believe that establishing rule of law and the provision of justice for creating stability in the society is also urgent and is no less important than that. Therefore, Afghan government has ratified and approved national plans for reforming justice with the intention of fulfilling its national and international commitments about rule of law and ensuring justice in the society, eliminating administrative corruption in judicial system, conducting fair and standard trials in courts, preventing arbitrary and unlawful clashes and detentions, etc. The action and practical plans were prepared by the institution. Hopefully, the implementation of these programs and plans will be ushered in as soon as possible.
Government has approved the national programs for reforming justice and judiciary with the aim of achieving objectives such as supplying effective legal and judicial services to citizens, facilitating their access to justice, ensuring the rule of law and fighting administrative corruption, ensuring meritocracy, boosting the professional capacity of legal and judicial staff and facilitating them access to modern and electronic equipment, strengthening the capacity and mechanism for reforming law and structure of justice sector, and spreading awareness for citizens about their rights and responsibilities. Enforcing national plan about reforming justice and judiciary, which aims citizens’ easy access to justice and quality service, is the main responsibility of relevant institutions. Paving the ground for easy access to justice for all citizens, mainly the vulnerable part of society such as women and children will be possible through implementing law. Therefore, structural reform in judicial institutions, reforming law, boosting the capacity of staff of the relevant institutions and creating transparency in law enforcement, as well as coordination among judicial institutions is one of the basic priorities emphasized in the program.
It is worth saying that National Justice and Judicial Reform Program was originally set up and managed by the Legal Department of Second Vice President’s office under the leadership of Serwar Danish. The draft of this program has been discussed several times for further promotion in the Justice and Judicial Committee of Danish’s office and ultimately finalized. After being approved by cabinet, it was confirmed by the Supreme Council for the Rule of Law and Fight against Corruption. Hence, the relevant organizations are supposed to prepare their action plan in the frame of the program and send them to the office of Second Vice President for the endorsement of Supreme Council of the Rule of Law. Hopefully, it will be finalized and implemented in near future.

Abdul Hamid Arifi is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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