#SDGAction35414
Strengthening Afghanistan’s Legal Aid System
Description

Summary: To strengthen the rule of law and ensure equal access to justice for all, the Ministry of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (MOJ) will collaborate with the International Legal Foundation (ILF) to develop a comprehensive legal aid system that is accessible, effective, sustainable, and credible across Afghanistan.

This effort will accelerate progress towards realizing Sustainable Development Goal 16. It will advance implementation of Afghanistan’s 2019 Legal Aid Regulation by establishing a Legal Aid High Commission and Secretariat to ensure provision of effective, quality criminal defense services for poor and vulnerable people, and by building the capacity of the Ministry of Justice Legal Aid Department. The acceleration action will take place over a time period of three years, from 2019 to 2022, with beneficiaries across Afghanistan.

Objectives:
1. Support the Effective Establishment of Afghanistan’s New Legal Aid System
2. Build the Capacity of the MOJ Legal Aid Department to Provide Quality Legal Aid Services
3. Expand the Provision of Legal Aid in Provinces throughout Afghanistan

Partner Commitments:

The MOJ is the government agency responsible for the administration of justice in Afghanistan. The MOJ’s vision is implementation of the Rule of Law and equal access to justice for all. The Ministry plays a substantial role in provision of legal aid services to poor and vulnerable persons in Afghanistan, and it will commit leadership, human resources, facilities, and administrative support to facilitate the development of a comprehensive legal aid system that is accessible, effective, sustainable, and credible. For more information, visit https://moj.gov.af/en.

The ILF is a nonprofit organization that provides quality criminal defense services and builds sustainable, effective legal aid institutions around the world. A leading global advocate for the right to counsel, the ILF has over 15 years of experience delivering legal aid in Afghanistan and provides technical assistance worldwide. It will provide technical assistance and secure funding to advance this project. For more information, visit www.theilf.org.

Implementation Methodologies:
Implementation will include: curriculum, resource development; policy advice and development; needs assessments; training workshops; feedback and evaluation; recruitment and staffing.

Specific Activities:
1. Support the Effective Establishment of Afghanistan’s New Legal Aid System
A. Bolster the Legal Aid High Commission and Secretariat
B. Hold a national consultation on reforms to Afghanistan’s legal aid system
C. Draft a new National Legal Aid Strategy
2. Build the Capacity of the MOJ Legal Aid Department to Provide Quality Legal Aid
A. Establish a Training Unit
B. Establish a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit
C. Build the capacity of Legal Aid Department lawyers
3. Expand the Provision of Legal Aid in Provinces throughout Afghanistan
A. Establish a formal case referral mechanism between the MOJ and ILF
B. Embed ILF Afghanistan lawyers in MOJ legal aid offices around the country

Follow-up Mechanisms and Governance:
• Base-line surveys and an annual review of MOJ Legal Aid Department staff will be used to measure the Training Unit’s impact and progress.
• The Legal Aid Department Monitoring and Evaluation Unit will track the quality of legal aid provided.

Expected impact

This effort will yield a comprehensive legal aid system that is accessible, effective, sustainable and credible – strengthening institutions and closing the justice gap for poor communities across Afghanistan. Collaboration between the Ministry of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (MOJ) and the International Legal Foundation (ILF) will accelerate progress towards realizing Sustainable Development Goal 16. This collaboration will advance implementation of Afghanistan’s 2019 Legal Aid Regulation through technical and financial support for the Legal Aid High Commission and Secretariat, as well as building the capacity of the Ministry of Justice Legal Aid Department, in order to ensure provision of effective, quality criminal defense services for poor and vulnerable people. Together, the MOJ and ILF will develop a legal aid system that is tailored to the needs of each locality and ensure the provision of quality legal aid services nationwide. This effort will expand access to legal aid for indigent or vulnerable people who are detained, arrested, suspected of, or charged with a criminal offence across Afghanistan.

Website

https://moj.gov.af/en, www.theilf.org

Goal 16
Financing (in USD)
USD
In-kind contribution
MOJ facilities; ILF international experts
Staff / Technical expertise
MOJ Staff; ILF technical expertise on quality legal aid training
Basic information
Start: 01 October, 2019
Completion: 30 September, 2022
Entity
Ministry of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Government)
Partners
Ministry of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Government)
International Legal Foundation (non-governmental organization)
Initiative focused on COVID-19 pandemic response, prevention and recovery efforts
Not specified
Geographical coverage
Asia and Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficiaries
Contact information
Ezmarai Osmany, Director of External Relations, Ministry of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, e.osmany@gmail.com, +93 788883158
Headquarters
Kabul, Afghanistan
United Nations