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AfriMAP’s The Justice Sector and the Rule of Law in Namibia

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1 AfriMAP’s The Justice Sector and the Rule of Law in Namibia
Workshop: Country-led governance assessments: Sharing experiences and increasing political accountability 2 – 5 November 2009 Panel: Governance assessments in Namibia: Current trends and issues – using human rights indicators to make a political difference 2 November 2009 AfriMAP’s The Justice Sector and the Rule of Law in Namibia Presentation by Dr Oliver C. Ruppel Director: Human Rights and Documentation Centre Faculty of Law University of Namibia

2 About AfriMAP AfriMAP = The Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project Initiative established in 2004 to monitor observance of standards relating to human rights; the rule of law; and accountable government in countries of the African Union

3 Methodology (I) The methodology is based on standardised reporting framework in three thematic areas: Political participation Delivery of public services; and The justice sector and the rule of law Idea behind the project at hand: To conduct an objective analysis on the extent to which African governments are committed to comply with both the African and international standards on human rights and good governance. To reveal the extent to which African governments respect the judgments of their national courts of law.

4 Methodology (II) Reports are elaborated by experts from countries concerned in close collaboration with the Open Society Institute’s network of foundations in Africa and AfriMAP’s own staff. Drafts of the reports are reviewed by a range of experts, with their comments and criticism reflected in the final content. Two major workshops during the drafting process ensured input and participation from all relevant stakeholders. Legal fraternity Ministries, etc.


6 Contents: The Justice Sector and the Rule of Law in Namibia
The report provides a comprehensive review of the justice sector in Namibia. The report includes chapters on the legal and institutional framework government respect for the rule of law management of the justice system independence, accountability, effectiveness and conduct of judges and lawyers criminal justice access to justice development assistance and the justice sector

7 Sample of indicators relevant for the report (I)
Which are the major international treaties to which Namibia is a party? Does the government honour its reporting obligations under the international human rights treaties? To what extent have international human rights standards been incorporated into the constitution and national legislation? What is the structure of the court system as set out in the constitution and relevant legislation? Are there effective procedures for law reform? Does the government respect principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law?

8 Sample of indicators relevant for the report (II)
Are there systems in place to ensure the judicial sector has the necessary planning, financial and administrative systems in place necessary to allow its effective functioning? Are there systems in place to ensure the independence, integrity, competence and effectiveness of judges and lawyers? Is there an adequate justice system in responding to criminal offences? To what extent is an average citizen able to assert his or her rights against the government or private individuals? In what manner do donors provide assistance to the justice sector, and is assistance provided according to principles of transparency, accountability, and with respect for international human rights standards?

9 First general findings
Namibia’s legal and institutional landscape has improved remarkably since independence in 1990 in many respects such as human rights and the rule of law, the implementation of laws, access to justice, crime and punishment, etc. The Constitution contains a comprehensive Bill of Rights that includes socio economic as well as civil, political and cultural rights. Namibia became a state party to most international human rights instruments which contributed to a more substantial legal and institutional reform. However, there is further a need to incorporate these international human rights standards into national law.

10 Possible impact of the report on accountability and policy processes
More transparency Continuous discourse Public participation

11 Dissemination of the reports and use of results
The Justice Sector and the Rule of Law in Namibia is published and printed (2x3000 books) by AfriMAP and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA). Launch of publications in March 2010 Dissemination strategies: Media & stakeholder workshops National, regional and continental distribution: Postal and personal distribution to community libraries, archives, government representatives, civil society activities, academia and interested citizens Free download of the publication

12 Sustainability of the project
The report forms a resource for activists and others in the country concerned and across Africa to improve respect for human rights and democratic values. AfriMAP is a cross-country project, allowing for cross-country comparisons.

13 Lesson learned… …process in progress…

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