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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Somalia takes first step towards judicial reforms

Somalia has concluded a five-day conference that prepared way for judicial reform.

Initiated by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, the meeting brought together over 200 experts from diverse backgrounds and interests.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting Friday, steps to be taken to help citizens attain a credible justice system in Somalia were highlighted.

Some of the recommendations included need for reorganising the judicial system and its infrastructure in a way compatible with the new constitution and the fresh governance in Somalia.

A post transitional government was formed in September 2012 and its leaders are striving to initiate various reforms including security, judicial and financial.

“Suggestions were made on ways of consolidating a judicial system that protects the rights of the citizens to enjoy justice,” pointed out the final report. It added that the independence of the judicial organ was vital to deliver the required fairness.

Participants

The conference also recommended the formation of a justice services committee, a constitutional court and a federal court. “The Army court must be empowered in order to fulfill its specific duties,” indicated the communiqué, adding the court’s legislations required revisions.

Suggestion was also made on the rebuilding and modernising the detention centres and prisons in the country.

Participants of the conference also stressed the need for clear separation of powers, particularly among the legislative, executive and the judiciary.

“Laws must be provided to protect women, children and the disabled,” specified one of the recommendations. It added that all facilitations must be provided for women to take part in the judicial structure.

The conference attracted, among others, representatives from the ministries, members of the federal parliament, law experts from in and out of Somalia and judges from various courts. Others included representatives from the police force, prison custodians, civil society organisations, women associations, universities, religious and traditional leaders.

A series of benchmarks and milestones were laid down to ensure that the recommendations were implemented in specific timelines.     

Source: Africa Review

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