Friday, May 22, 2009

UNDP Helps Develop Judiciary in Timor-Leste

Newly democratic states face a laundry list of problems as they try to institutionalize reforms and make their government both responsive and accountable. But combating lawlessness is one of the biggest issues - countries need to exercise their authority without becoming authoritarian. Making sure that the judicial system treats all its citizens fairly is one important way that nations can reinforce their commitment to democracy.

In the nation of Timor-Leste, UNDP is helping to ensure that judges and public defenders are not only familiar with their country's laws, but also know how important an independent judicial system is to a functioning democracy. UNDP's Justice System Program has been working closely with Timor-Leste's Council of Coordination of the Justice Sector to enforce court reform, including establishing a Legal Training Center, which can count among its graduates two judges and four public defenders who were sworn in last week.

For more information on the program, click here, and you can read a previous blog post about the Justice System Program's outreach efforts in Timor-Leste here.