United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Boosts Justice Delivery with Groundbreaking Workshop in Gogrial West

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently concluded a three-day workshop for justice actors in Gogrial West county, Warrap state.

Led by the UN Peacekeeping mission’s Rule of Law and Security Institutions Section (RoLSIS), with support from its Gender Affairs Unit and United Nations Police (UNPOL) the transformative training, which aimed to bolster the criminal justice chain, saw an impressive turnout of 22 paramount chiefs, court clerks, and officers from the country’s National Police and Prisons Services.

The sessions, facilitated by the High Court President and Director of Legal Affairs, delved into crucial topics such as criminal law principles, handling gender issues, and protecting children’s rights.

Madut Aleu Aguek, a customary court clerk from Alek North, was enthusiastic about the interactive forum.

 “I’m thrilled with this opportunity because I could never imagine standing in front of a High Court judge to raise my questions and concerns. Learning about criminal law procedures and the importance of due process has been incredibly enlightening,” he stated.

Similarly, Mayar Ngong, a prison officer serving in Gogrial West county headquarters noted, “We have challenges in terms of facilities and resources, but this training has provided us with a clear understanding of each other’s roles. We are integrated actors along the justice chain, meaning we work together with coordinated procedures to ensure that the rule of law is upheld.”

A standout moment was the strong call for integrity and interconnectivity among justice actors by Anastasie Mukangarambe, the Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Kuajok.

“Interconnectivity among justice actors is vital. We must uphold national and international standards, especially during political campaigns and elections,” she stated, highlighting the importance of promoting ethical practices.

For his part, High Court President, Malou Yel, advised chiefs and justice actors to exercise their duties independently and without political interference. “We have a saying that when politics enter the room, the law leaves through the window. Court staff at the county level must not let commissioners or executive directors interfere with their work. Your reporting officer is the county court judge. Any disputes and complaints should follow the rightful legal process.”

Mr Yel also appreciated UNMISS and partners for their support and appealed for more resources.

In an engaging discussion, participants not only shared their perspectives but also forged a path forward.

“Through the presentations on sexual and gender-based Violence; women’s roles in the legal system; and the rights of minors in detention, we developed key recommendations and committed to collaborative efforts to enhance our legal framework,” one participant remarked. “We realized that incorporating gender considerations and child protection measures strengthens, rather than delays, our justice system.”

The workshop’s cooperative environment led to the identification of key challenges and the formulation of practical solutions. “Apply the knowledge gained here to serve your communities with integrity,” urged Mr. Yel, underscoring the importance of the training in enhancing justice delivery.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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