27 April 2009

East Timor Justice Ministry Strategic Planning

East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program DILI 27 April 2009 - The Ministry of Justice conducted a two day workshop focused on Strategy Planning (SP) on the 16th and 17th April 2009, in the meeting room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to identify crucial issues relating to the formal justice system and to outline a 10 year vision for the aforementioned sector. The strategic planning workshop produced a number of important points that hopefully will provide the basis for establishing a strong judicial system that can be accessed by all sectors of the community, especially the majority of justice seekers who live in rural areas.

Thematic issues identified in this process covered major obstacles and technical issues. These included insufficient legal instruments to respond to the needs of the community, ambiguity about the politics of law in Timor Leste, limited number of human resources, limited legal infrastructure to enable community access to the formal justice system, the welfare of legal actors and the composition and involvement of national and international actors in the creation of an improved legal system. Technical issues continue to be a national concern including the use of Portuguese as the language of interaction in the judicial system, the management of judicial administration, limited planning on how to maximize and allocate available human resources and other logistic support to establish uniform practice in the provision of necessary legal services.

Although this process had both strengths and weaknesses, it should be highlighted that this was a positive and productive step forward to allow all of the components within the nation to contribute to the creation of an ideal format and legal framework to be applied in Timor Leste.

Therefore, JSMP welcomes this effort and congratulates the Ministry of Justice for organizing the drafting of this strategic plan, especially because of their efforts to seek the input and suggestions from all components working in the judicial sector.

JSMP hopes that the openness displayed by the Ministry of Justice and willingness to work with all segments of society, especially civil society, should be continued so that the vision of the justice system that was formulated during the strategic planning workshop can reflect reality, practical experience and the spirit of Timorese society itself.

In addition, JSMP hopes that the emergent Strategic Plan will be revised every year to examine the degree to which the plan has met its intended objectives.

For more information please contact: Luis de Oliveira Sampaio Executive Director of JSMP Email: luis@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883

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