Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and UNDP on Monday launched the Enhancing Access to Justice through Institutional Reform (2018-2020) project aimed at enhancing access to justice of women, poor and vulnerable groups in Nepal.
According to a press release, the project is to be implemented through the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (MOLJPA) jointly with the Office of the Attorney General and Nepal Bar Association. The $4.6million project is funded by the Norwegian Government and UNDP.
Lasse Bjørn Johannessen, Ambassador, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu and UNDP Country Director Renaud Meyer signed the agreement on Monday at the Ministry in Singhadurbar, Kathmandu. The Norwegian Government will contribute $3.6 million and UNDP $1 million to the project.
The three-year project aims to enhance people’s access to justice by helping the Ministry make needful reforms in the legal aid regime in Nepal. The project will also support in effectively implementing the integrated legal aid policy, currently being finalized by the Ministry. The policy aims to provide free legal aid services to the poor and vulnerable people across the country.
The project will help reform the criminal and civil justice systems by providing necessary technical and capacity support to the judicial committees set up at the local governments of Province 2, 6 and 7, particularly with the aim to promote access to justice of women, poor and vulnerable groups, said Rajib Gautam, Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.
In order to promote participation of women and vulnerable groups in the justice system, the project will provide scholarships, internships and other professional opportunities to law students coming from these groups. The project will explore opportunities to support effective delivery of justice for inclusive economic development through tailored training to the concerned stakeholders.
“We are pleased to sign this new agreement and are grateful for the generosity of Norway which enables UNDP to continue working under the leadership and ownership of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs to improve the rule of law and access to justice, particularly for the poor and most vulnerable population of Nepal,” said Renaud Meyer, Country Director, UNDP Nepal. “We want to make sure that no one is left behind when it comes to accessing justice as it is a fundamental pillar of any democracy and at the heart of both the Constitution of Nepal and the mandate of the UN.”
“Upon the request from the Government of Nepal, Norway is very pleased to be here today and commit ourselves to continue our support in the justice sector. The project we have signed today will enhance access to justice through an instrumental reform in Nepal,” said Lasse Bjørn Johannessen, Ambassador, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu. “Norway appreciates the commitment of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs to take on the lead for implementing this project.”
“This project aligns itself with one of the major priorities of this government – that is to improve access to justice. Through this project we plan to carry out a number of targeted interventions, from building capacity of the judicial committees at the local governments to making needful reforms in the existing laws to ensure the poor and the vulnerable have access to justice,” said Hon. Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Sher Bahadur Tamang.