28 April 2018

Celebration of JSMP's XVII Anniversary

Press Release 27 April 2018 Celebration of JSMP's XVII Anniversary:

JSMP Launches its 2017 Annual Justice Sector and Legislative Sector Report - 2017 JSMP Institutional Report and Announces the Results of a Competition to Write Gender Sensitive News

The celebration of JSMP's XVII anniversary, which falls on 28 April, will actually take place on 27 April 2018, and will be accompanied by the launch of the 2017 Overview of the Justice Sector Annual Report, the 2017 Parliamentary Watch Report (POP), and the 2017 JSMP Institutional Report. Also, the results of a Competition to write gender sensitive news will be announced.

Like previous years, JSMP has an institutional tradition to commemorate JSMP's anniversary with the launch of its regular monitoring reports on important developments and challenges in the judicial and legislative sector for the public of Timor-Leste which is a way to contribute to the development of these two key sectors.

“The celebration of this year's anniversary is a little bit different because it also includes a competition to write gender sensitive news involving journalists from the print and online media,” said Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, Executive Director of JSMP.

The competition to write gender sensitive news is collaboration between JSMP, the Secretariat of State for Gender Equality and Social Inclusion and the Press Council.

This competition was set up with the aim of promoting the knowledge of journalists on how to write and publish news that is gender sensitive and avoid language that tends to further strengthen a culture of violence against women.

JSMP observed that many headlines use language that reflects a ‘gender bias’ and is full of discrimination against women and girls. This competition serves as a means to promote public awareness to eradicate gender based violence in Timor-Leste.

Also, these reports contain JSMP discussion and observations on progress achieved and challenges faced in the justice sector including the processing of cases through the courts and the legislative process at the National Parliament as well as other important events noted by JSMP in 2017.

The Overview of the Justice Sector Report discusses facts about the progress achieved and challenges faced in the justice sector, statistics on cases tried at the district courts and the Court of Appeal during 2017. In particular, this report discusses cases judged in the courts, such as crimes of domestic violence, rape, crimes involving the exercise of public functions and other ordinary crimes brought before the courts.

The Parliamentary Watch Report provides information gathered by JSMP through the monitoring of the National Parliament during 2017, in particular, critical observations on the political situation after the 2017 parliamentary elections. This legislative session was interrupted because of a political impasse in the National Parliament which had a serious impact on the functioning of the National Parliament, and in particular the IV Legislature.

Meanwhile, the 2017 JSMP Institutional Report provides a summary of JSMP activities performed throughout 2017 including institutional cooperation with key institutions and national and international networks. This report also outlines funding support that JSMP received from donors which provides legitimacy and public accountability.

JSMP hopes that the facts discussed in these reports can provide useful information to the general public and particularly to relevant State organs and institutions. In particular, this report serves as a reference to contribute directly and indirectly towards improving the functioning the formal justice system and legislative system now and in the future.

The report concludes with a number of important and relevant recommendations that are addressed directly to the competent and relevant organs and institutions for their consideration.

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of JSMP to express our deep appreciation to our key stakeholders, especially donors such as the Government of Australia (DFAT), The Asia Foundation (TAF), the VI Constitutional Government of Timor-Leste through the Civil Society Fund, the Embassy of Finland in Jakarta, the Embassy of Canada in Jakarta, and HIVOS in Jakarta.

JSMP would also like to express its gratitude and appreciation to key institutions in the justice sector and legislative sector such as the courts, the National Parliament, the Public Prosecution Service, the Office of the Public Defender, and justice officials who have collaborated with and contributed to the production of this report. We hope that with a strong commitment to enjoy even stronger institutional collaboration in the next few years we will be able to support and strengthen the rule of law and democracy and ensure justice for all.

These reports will be available on the JSMP website at: http://jsmp.naroman.tl after the launch in Tetum and English.

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