Liberian traditional leaders and civil society endorse handbook on administration of justice at the community level

Representatives of the National Traditional Council of Liberia and civil society endorsed a training manual that will improve access to grassroots justice and reduce the backlog of cases in the justice system.

The manual, developed in close consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and with the support of the Joint United Nations Program for the Rule of Law, Justice and Security, is in line with human rights standards and principles, in particular with regard to the rights of women and children.

It will be used to train traditional leaders responsible for settling disputes within communities and members of civil society involved in the administration of justice.

“Traditional rulers bear great responsibility in resolving disputes and administering justice at the community level in Liberia’s informal justice system. The manual provides a resource that will be used to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of rule of law and human rights principles. , and will go a long way in improving access and the quality of justice delivered across the country, ”said Stephen Rodriquez, UNDP Resident Representative in Liberia.

Liberia’s informal justice system, ruled by traditional rulers and guided by inherently gender-insensitive customary practices, enjoys more than twice as much public confidence as the formal justice system and handles 80% of disputes in the country.

During a two-day validation of the manual on October 28 and 29, Rodriques underlined the importance of both judicial systems upholding the human rights and dignity of women and children.

“The manual is expected to enable traditional leaders to better serve the public, empower women by recognizing their rights and contribute to the consolidation of peace and stability in Liberia by ensuring satisfactory resolution and transparent disputes.

Given the central role in the administration of justice, the Home Office, with the support of the Joint United Nations Program on Rule of Law, Justice and Security, commissioned the development of the training for the actors of the informal justice system in order to equip them with the required knowledge. and skills to be able to deliver justice in accordance with international best practice.

Advisor to Minister of Justice Musa Dean hailed the manual as “one of the best tools to train and empower traditional authorities and justice actors in the effective administration of justice for the Liberian people, especially the poor. and the vulnerable ”.

About Irene J. O'Donnell

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