50 Sudanese judges gather today to begin their six week training on Legal Analysis for Effective Dispute Resolution

Khartoum-January 20, 2008: the Sudan Judiciary and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched today the opening ceremony of the second six week judicial training course on “Effective Dispute Resolution: A Course in Legal Analysis for Judges”. With 50 judges participating in the course, this is a key stepping stone in the progress of the Multi Donor Trust Fund Sudan Judicial Capacity Building Project.

The Project is designed to enhance the independence of the Sudan judiciary; build the knowledge-base of judges; and empower the judiciary to effectively and fairly apply the law and deliver justice. It is co-funded by the Government of National Unity (GoNU) with an allocation of US$5 million and by the World Bank administered Multi Donor Trust Fund National with an amount of US$13 million. The initiative is being jointly implemented by the Sudan judiciary and UNDP over a three-year period.

Deputy Chief Justice Mohammed Hamid Abusinn said “We have gladly accepted this support in search of knowledge and not because we lack the expertise, but because our Sudanese judges are always seeking to improve their already existing knowledge and capacity. This project is particularly significant as it aims to enhance the judicial system at a time where Sudan is witnessing a democratic transformation era.”

Emphasizing the complexity of the Sudanese legal structures at the formal and informal sectors, UNDP Country Director Jerzy Skuratowicz also stressed the importance of understanding the role of traditional laws and formal laws within a culturally diverse country such as Sudan. The Sudan Judiciary Capacity Building Project is at the forefront of the progress of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. This project is the largest project in the UNDP Good Governance and Rule of Law Unit.

The Capacity Development of Sudan’s Judiciary project stems from a long-standing collaboration between the Sudan Judiciary and UNDP. It was first conceived during the Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) in 2004, and has since crystallized through extensive consultations, in-depth analysis and consensus building leading to this comprehensive initiative.

UNDP Project Manager, Alphonso Gaskins said "the $18 million project aims to provide carefully designed training, along with technical and operational support to the National Judicial Service Commission and the National Judiciary. Given the importance of a high-quality judicial training, the training programme will cover modern legal analysis and application, constitutional law, international human rights, and comparative international experiences along with Sudanese cultural values and traditions.”

In addition, the Project aims to establish, construct and fully equip a pilot National Legal Training Resource Center in Wad Madani, and rehabilitate the existing judiciary training facility in Khartoum. Court facilities in Khartoum, Abyei, Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and Eastern Sudan will also be rehabilitated to improve the delivery of judicial services in different States.

The World Bank is assigned the role of administering two Multi-Donor Trust Funds
(MDTFs) that were established with an initial pledged amount of US$500 million following the Oslo Donor Conference in April 2005 to support priority activities for post-conflict Sudan. The MDTF National supports the Government of National Unity, primarily in the reconstruction and development of war-affected and marginalized areas in the Northern states while the MDTF South supports the decentralization, recovery and development initiatives undertaken by the Government of Southern Sudan. As of December 31, 2007, the MDTF-National has contributed US$176.3 million to support 11 projects with a GoNU counterpart contribution of US$360.2 million.


For further information please contact;

Alphonso Gaskins, Project Manager, UNDP Sudan: alphonso.gaskins@undp.org
Klaus Decker, World Bank Task Team Leader of the Capacity Building of the Judiciary Project: kdecker@worldbank.org
Nada Amin, Communications Officer, World Bank Sudan: namin@worldbank.org
Dalia El Roubi, Communications Analyst, UNDP Sudan : dalia.elroubi@undp.org

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.