On 15 and 22 August 2020, the ICJ, in collaboration with the National Judicial Academy (NJA) of Nepal, organized the National Judicial Dialogue on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and Enhancing Women’s Access to Justice.
Due to the exigencies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the judicial dialogue was conducted through virtual means.
Fifteen trial court judges from Kathmandu Valley participated in this judicial dialogue with judicial experts from other countries.
Judge Amy Alabado Avellano, a Regional Trial Court judge from the Philippines, engaged with the judges on the application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in their judicial decisions. Roberta Clarke, ICJ’s Executive Committee Chairperson and UN Women’s OIC for UN Women’s East and Southern Africa Regional Office, spoke on the right to access to justice under international human rights law.
The second day featured a discussion on specific barriers that women in Nepal face when they access justice. The judges discussed their own role and measures available to the judiciary as an institution to enhance access to justice for women in Nepal. Hon. Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla from the Supreme Court of Nepal and Dr. Diwakar Bhatta from the National Judicial Academy of Nepal led these discussions.
At the Dialogue Emerlynne Gil, ICJ Senior International Legal Adviser, remarked that “judges have a responsibility to uphold the fairness and integrity of the justice system by ensuring that proceedings are conducted in a fashion that does not subordinate the fact-finding process to myth and stereotype.” Honorable Top Bahadur Magar, the Executive Director of the National Judicial Academy, stressed that, “Trial court judges play a pivotal role in debunking myths and gender stereotypes.”
Highlighting the importance of continuing the work towards eliminating gender discriminatory practices among frontline justice actors, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Emerlynne Gil said. “The COVID-19 pandemic is aggravating existing gender inequalities and women are experiencing more violations of their human rights.”
Laxmi Pokharel, National Legal Advisor, International Commission of Jurists, t: 977 9851047588, e: laxmi.pokharel(a)icj.orgNewsWeb stories