In South Sudan, despite unambiguous provisions in the Constitution and the law, the principle of an independent and impartial judiciary is not yet respected in practice. Among other things, the ICJ was informed of a number of incidents of interference and harassment involving representatives of the other State powers. Further, a lack of resources has translated into a shortage of judges and a lack of adequate infrastructure, including court buildings.
The lack of an operational legal framework for the legal profession has a negative impact on lawyers’ independence. Among other things, there are no clear, coherent and uniform norms for accessing the profession, which risks to undermine the quality of the services delivered. Moreover, there is no operational Bar Association or other self-regulating body for the legal profession. The Constitution and law fall short of containing the safeguards necessary to guarantee that lawyers can play the role in providing legal advice and a defence as set out in international standards.
Further, the ICJ has heard recurring allegations of political interference with the function of the prosecutorial services in the handling of criminal cases. Legal education and continued education, mostly due to the scarcity of resources, are wanting.
Please note: the research on which this profile is based largely predates the 2014 conflict.
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