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UN State Liaison Functions Conduct a Workshop on Manual for Rural Courts, Access to Justice and Human Rights in north Darfur

Photo by Kone Mouroulaye, UNAMID.

From 7 to 8 July 2019, The Human Rights and Rule of Law components of the UN State Liaison Functions (SLFs) in north Darfur, in partnership with UNDP, conducted a two-day Training of Trainers Workshop for District Court Judges on use of the Manual for Rural Courts, Access to Justice and Human Rights. The training workshop, attended by 25 participants, was aimed at building the capacity of select district court judges to train rural court judges in the use of a guidance Manual for Rural Courts Judges in the mediation and adjudication of cases, in accordance with the laws of Sudan and to include human rights and rule of law principles in the mediation and conflict resolution processes of inter-communal disputes.

In her address at the closing ceremony of the Workshop, Ms. Esther Zana, representing the SLF’s North Darfur Human Rights Office, referred to past engagements between UNAMID, UNDP and local authorities, within the Joint Programme for Rule of Law which supported the Government in strengthening delivery, coherence and in maximizing the impact of United Nations support to the justice system in Darfur. Ms. Esther Zana further highlighted expected outcomes of the workshop as rural court judges who have rights-based approach to justice delivery, making robust rural court decisions including mediation and conflict resolution processes which consider human rights and rule of law principles to settle disputes among the Darfuri communities for peaceful co-existence and sustainable peace. “We commend the strong participation of District Court Judges from El Fasher and other localities of North Darfur and their interest in workshop deliberations, which they demonstrated during the sessions,” added Ms Zana.

In his closing remarks, the Honourable Judge Samir Mohammed Said, Chief Judge of the North Darfur District Court described the workshop as instrumental in supporting the most important sector that plays immense role in Darfur, referring to the great role the rural courts judges play in the reconciliation and mediation process in Darfur. “We pledge to provide more related training to rural courts judges all over North Darfur for the benefit of the community in this area which has 75 established rural courts. Each rural court has 12 judges, bringing the total to around 900 Rural Court judges. Soon, we shall be opening ten more rural courts whilst we undertake the rehabilitation of Kabkabiya Rural Court and appreciate UNAMID efforts in this regard,” Judge Said commented.

Some of the topics covered by the facilitators at the Workshop included the Introduction to Human Rights Standards and Principles, Introduction to Rule of Law Principles, the right of access to justice for all with focus on vulnerable groups (IDPs, returnees, women and children, indigent persons/communities), along Introduction to criminal justice processes and the work of justice institutions in Sudan. Lectures on Manual for Rural Courts, focusing on Jurisdiction of rural courts and Procedure in the rural courts, jurisdiction of rural courts, including human rights and justice aspects and Adjudication and mediation and conciliation of cases in rural courts.