Local authorities and customary chiefs in Cueibet County are now in a better position to reconcile the functioning of the prevailing parallel justice systems, the statutory and the traditional one, and to improve women’s access to both.
“The training was inclusive and helpful as representatives from all actors of the judicial process – police, prison services, special courts, traditional courts, other local authorities – participated,” said Ayor Achol, a member of the Town Court, referring to a three-day workshop organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Those in attendance were briefed on their respective roles and responsibilities within the justice system as stated in the constitution and the Local Government Act of the country, the importance of adequate female representation, and on how to improve both coordination and accountability. Procedures for witness protection, often related to incidents of sexual or other kinds of gender-based violence, were also discussed.
“We listened to and discussed the challenges faced by different parties, but also addressed cross-cutting issues like how to handle cases of sexual violence and how to best respect human rights in our daily work. I think the most important takeaway will be the understanding of how the statutory special court in Cueibet works, as it also brings in elements of customary law,” said UNMISS Rule of Law Officer Isabella Pinno.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).