ICJ to analyze the independence of the judiciary in South Sudan

A high level ICJ mission in South Sudan will analyze the situation and assess avenues for progress as regards – broadly – the state of the independence of the judiciary and legal profession in the country.

The ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers (CIJL) is undertaking this mission to Juba, South Sudan, on 3 and 4 September 2012.

In light of the fact that South Sudan is in transition, having achieved independence just over one year ago and recovering from decades of civil war, particular attention will be paid to the differences (and sometimes dichotomy) between the de lege and de facto situation.

Various high-level meetings

The mission members will meet with a broad group of stakeholders in Juba, soliciting information and views from the South Sudanese judiciary, prosecutorial services and legal profession.

Further meetings with high-ranking members of the executive, parliament and civil society will complete the picture.

National consultation

The high-level mission will be followed by a national consultation conference on 5 and 6 September, organized in partnership with the South Sudan Law Society and bringing together key South Sudanese actors in the administration of justice.

Together with the high-level mission members, representatives from the upper hierarchy of the judicial, executive and legislative branches, legal professionals and civil society leaders will discuss judicial and legal professional independence and accountability in the country, exploring both concepts as well as the interplay between them in depth.

The high-level mission will produce a comprehensive analytical report on the current legal and factual state of the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession in South Sudan, making concrete legal-technical and policy recommendations, with the purpose of fostering compliance with international standards on the administration of justice.

The report will be presented to the relevant authorities in South Sudan, before its publication by ICJ.

The high-level mission will be headed by ICJ Commissioner Justice Moses Chinhengo. The other members are: Judges David Wangutusi and Thomas Masuku, two regional experts; Arnold Tsunga, Director ICJ’s Africa Programme; George Kegoro, Executive Director of ICJ-Kenya; and Ilaria Vena, CIJL Associate Legal Advisor.

Photo: ©Gurtong

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