Providing technical expertise in the justice reform sector
The Government of the Republic of the Philippines, with support from the European Union, is implementing the Justice Sector Reform Programme: Governance in Justice (GOJUST). GOJUST supports the development and early implementation of a credible sector-wide long-term reform strategy through the provision of technical and financial assistance.
The Programme focuses on three inter-related components aimed respectively at laying the ground for reforms through i.) strengthening sector coordination and policy-making; ii) creating space for reform implementation through decongestion and automation; and iii) generating resources for reform through the improvement of administrative and financial management.
The programme will be implemented from April 2016 to October 2019.
The GOJUST Programme will seek to achieve the following results:
Sector-wide coordination of the justice system strengthened and long-term reform strategy developed
Result 1 will contribute to structural reforms through the institutionalisation of a permanent coordinating and policy-making body at the national level through the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC), supporting priority programmes and activities of the JSCC. Furthermore, roll-out of local mechanisms for coordination in the form of Justice Zones and the strengthening of communication between these two levels will be supported. A holistic approach to justice service delivery with the introduction of new structures for more evidence-based and inclusive policy-making, as well as systems-level performance monitoring and evaluation can fundamentally change the way the justice sector crafts policy and monitors performance. This can pave the way for government-owned sustainable reforms once adopted as part of a national development policy with sector recognition and sector budget support.
Backlog curtailed in courts and prosecution services and case management system streamlined and computerised (with focus on ‘justice zones’)
GOJUST will support activities towards the improved efficiency of individual justice sector agencies in the delivery of their services. Docket decongestion of 160 courts and 100 prosecution offices is recognized as a key step in justice sector reform. This paves the way for other reforms such as contniuous trial.
GOJUST will also work with partner institutions in streamlining case management processes through the conduct of studies, developing best practice guidelines, production of relevant manuals and the roll-out of electronic case management systems such as the eCourts.
Justice Sector agencies’ administrative and financial management systems improved
Key Result Area 3 seeks to strengthen court administration, human resource management, financial management, and high level performance management of the judiciary and the Department of Justice. This result area can be viewed as the institutional strengthening of key actors in the justice system in the capacity for and the appreciation of the need for structural reforms and evidence-based policy making. The general approach taken in this key result area is to determine the current initiatives of the Judiciary and the Department of Justice, and ensure that the interventions would complement and support these initiatives. Finally, it is anticipated that by supporting the process of justice sector-wide planning through the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the performance governance system of the Judiciary and the Department of Justice will be improved.
A 4th result area is implemented by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and seeks to Strengthen National/Regional Human Rights Institutions and CSO’s capacity to promote accountability and fight impunity for major human rights violations.
Overall Objective: To contribute to inclusive growth and poverty reduction through a strengthened justice system
Specific Objective : To increase the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of the formal justice system
OVER-ALL STRATEGIC APPROACH OF GOJUST
The justice system is composed of different actors and reforms must be undertaken in a coordinated and cohesive manner to ensure efficiency and sustainability. Justice sector-level coordination is undertaken by the Justice Sector Coordination Council (JSCC) jointly headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Secretary of Justice and the Secretary for Interior and Local Government. GOJUST will support the strengthening and institutionalization of the JSCC to ensure complementarity and compatibility of reform measures of the different justice sector agencies. Local sectoral coordination mechanisms through justice zones will allow GOJUST to pilot reform measures at the local level.
GOJUST will also support reform measures to enable individual justice sector institutions to provide more effective and efficient delivery of justice. This will include decongesting both the courts and the prosecution service, the development and roll-out of electronic case management systems, as well as the streamlining of case management systems. The early improvements and impact of reforms within the individual agencies may in turn support and encourage policy-making and legislative reforms through the JSCC.
Parallel to supporting sectoral coordination, GOJUST will also support the internal capacities of individual justice sector institutions through the strengthening of their financial and administrative systems. This can lead to organizational and structural reforms that can facilitate and improve informed decision-making.
Strengthened communication between JSCC and local coordination mechanisms will allow for innovative interventions tried and tested at the local level as well as by the different justice sector agencies to be translated into policy decisions and reforms at the national level through the JSCC. This will help introduce a virtuous circle between institutional, local and thematic interventions.
Working with Philippine justice sector institutions
The Programme Steering Committee (PSC) is responsible for the over-all policy direction of the programme and the approval of the annual work plans. The PSC consists of the Chief Justice, and the Secretaries of Justice, and the Interior and Local Government, and representatives from development partners. A Programme Implementation Committee (PIC) attends to the more detailed realization of programme activities. The PIC is headed by a Programme Director, and its members are composed of representatives of various offices under the SC, DOJ and the DILG.
Providing Technical Expertise on Justice Sector Reform
Funded by the European Union, the GOJUST Programme is implemented through technical assistance by the British Council and logistical and fund management support from the United Nations Office for Project Services.
The British Council’s work in the justice sector builds on 25 years applied experience on the ground, in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.
The United Nations Office for Project Services helps a range of partners implement aid and development projects by providing support in the areas of procurement and project management.
The British Council (BC) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) are principally responsible for the delivery of the first three result areas. BC will provide the long term and short term technical assistance, while the UNOPS shall be responsible for the organization of activities, such as training, workshops, seminars, study tours, and procurement of equipment. AECID shall be responsible for the fourth result area, from the procurement of technical assistance, to the organisation of activities and the provision of grants to civil society organisations.
The European Union is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries. The world’s largest humanitarian aid donor, the EU is a major player in international cooperation and development aid. The primary aim of the EU’s development policy is the eradication of poverty.