Enhancing Justice Delivery and Human Rights for All

What is this project about

 A participant at the International Human Rights Day commemorations reads a Universal Periodic Review publication. Photo - UNDP Zimbabwe

This Project recognizes that the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) is critical to  building and strengthening the human rights architecture, deepening democracy and enhancing people participation in governance affairs. The JLOS sector will play an important role in strengthening accountable and democratic institutions that are responsive to the populace justice demands and the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights. This is in recognition to the reality that access to justice challenges has impacted more on the poor and vulnerable populations of society especially on women, children, youth and persons living with disability d among others. The project will bring coherence; unity and coordination within the JLOS through support institutional capacity, policy and law reforms as well as strategic sector wide interventions.

Project Outputs

  1. Strengthened co-ordination framework of the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS)
  2. Policies and law reforms formulated in line with existing reforms, international obligations and the Constitution
  3. Strengthened capacity of the justice, law and order sector institutions to effectively and efficiently execute their mandates
  4. Enhanced legal aid mechanisms
  5. Regional and international human rights instruments ratified and domesticated
  6. Increased knowledge understanding and application of rights based approaches

Key Achievements

  1. The JLOS coordination mechanism, which was established with defined Terms of Reference in October 2012, is now functional. To date, two quarterly steering committee meetings were held and the third quarterly steering committee meeting is scheduled for 11-12 September at Mutare Holiday Inn. The result of these meeting has been an increase in capacities to dialogue on justice delivery and access to justice issues, skilling and knowledge building through learning from the best practice and in particular the Uganda experience and development of a sector work plan upon which tracking of progress is made;
  2. Two circuit courts to support provision of Legal Aid to vulnerable groups have been established in Mutare and Masvingo. In addition, the Legal Aid Directorate has been supported to produce brochures on legal aid services which were distributed during the Trade Fair in April 2013 and Agricultural Show in August 2013 in order to increase awareness on legal aid;
  3. Two consultants were procured to support a process of conducting a comprehensive capacity gap assessment within institutions in the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS). The expected product is a capacity assessment report that can anchor future capacity building initiatives for the JLOS;
  4. The report to the Human Rights Committee on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was completed and adopted by Heads of Ministries. It is expected to be presented to Cabinet by the Minister of Justice for Cabinet authority to submit it to the treaty monitoring body above referred;
  5. Two consultants were broad on board by the IP to develop a strategy on Ratification and Domestication of International Human Rights Instruments. The strategy is expected to support implementation of recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process that urges Zimbabwe to ratify and domesticate key human rights instruments.

Key Challenges/Constraints

  • The project currently has a low delivery due to delays in implementation that were necessitated by the national election process. However a strategy to expedite implementation has been put in place. In addition a project coordinator for the project was recruited and is now on board and this will reduce challenges of human resource
  • The funding gap which is huge is militating against fulfilling the project objectives. A resource mobilization strategy needs to be devised in order to mobilise for the remainder of the project life.

Planned Future Activities

  • Support JLOS coordination mechanism meeting
  • Support Capacity Gap Assessment of the JLOS
  • Support sector strategy implementation by stakeholders
  • Support comprehensive assessment of the laws and policy reforms to align them with new Constitution
  • Conduct comprehensive baseline survey of citizen knowledge and experience in accessing justice with emphasis on children, youth and women experiences
  • Support harmonized training platforms for JLOS institutions:
  • Support the decentralization of Legal Aid Mechanisms:
  • Support drafting, submission and presentation  of reports to treaty bodies