August 28 to 30, Joined-Up Justice Forum was held in Adama World Training Center. The forum was organized by the Federal Supreme Court in collaboration with Justice For All – PF Ethiopia (JFA-PFE) through the financial support of The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Vice-President of Oromia Regional State, Teyba Hassen, Attorney General, Berhanu Tsegaye, President of the Federal Supreme Court, Dagne Melaku, Federal Police Commissioner, Zeinu Jemal, General Director for the new Justice and Legal Research Institute, Ambassador Dagefe Bulla, Members of Parliament, Regional Supreme Court Presidents, Regional Justice and Security and Admin Bureau Heads, Distinguished Officials and Members of the Joined-Up Justice Forum and representatives from different Universities Law School attended the forum.
After welcoming the Participants, Pastor Daniel Gebreselassie indicated some of the main topics Joined-up Justice Forum discussed so far since its establishment in 2002. He said the forum has come a long way discussing on the challenges of Justice Sectors and finding solution to bring a predictable, coherent, efficient, effective and accessible justice system.
US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Troy Fitrell, in his keynote speech addressed the dignitaries of the forum and indicated how proud the USAID is to investing to support the Joined-up Justice Forum for the past 11 years. Mr. Troy expressing the importance of Rule of Law for sustainable development of people said “the rule of law is a key driver of inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development. That is why it’s imperative that our justice systems and the men and women who serve earn the trust and confidence from the people they are there to protect”. Finally he showed his countries interest to working and face challenges together to make Ethiopia a better country.
In these three days, the forum discussed mainly how to bring about a reformed justice sector in Ethiopia. Major points discussed were lawmaking and revision mainly the judiciary which envisions to establishing efficient, effective, predictable and accessible judicial system, reform of law enforcement organs which involves in the criminal justice process: interrogation of the accused person by the police, investigation by public prosecutors which institutes charge, enforcement of sentences by prison administrations, Legal education which includes research and training: the expansion of law schools, justice sector professionals training centers.
The forum finally resolved a statement on seven points which includes
- The Federal Justice and Legal Research Institute to present to stake holders in 6 months this assessment including comments and recommendations given in this Joined-up Justice forum
- The Federal Justice and Legal Research Institute to prepare a two years strategic plan
- The Federal and regional government to assign a focal person that will assist this reform process
- That Regional Governments are expected to evaluate their reform aligning it to this assessment
- That Justice Sectors to work along with law schools to produce qualified professionals
The forum also agreed to bring to action strong tools that can be helpful to the justice sector reform. Presenting draft criminal procedure law and alternative penalty law to the responsible body for decision and implementation, make the criminal investigation work manual implemented and the correction and rehabilitation of Juvenile delinquency administration were some of them.