SOMALILAND: The Ministry of Justice’s Training Program of Law graduates for the Judiciary Sector

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Ibrahim Khadar Saed LLB, Candidate in Master of Peace and Conflict Studies at University of Hargiesa

 (The researcher has LLB, Candidate in Peace and Conflict Studies at University of Hargiesa as well a Postgraduate Certificate in Social Research from OCVP, TS and University of Bristol. In addition, he social activist and Head of Parole Unit of Ministry of Justice and founder of Maankaab.com)

By: Ibrahim Khadar Saed

LLB, Candidate in Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (ibraahimkhs@hotmail.com)

Abstract

This study assesses Somaliland Judicial training, particularly the Ministry of Justice’s training program for law graduates entering into the judiciary section in 2012-2016. It presents the result of 12 interviewees from the different batches within the training program. The respondents are separately categorized batches. It also reveals the importance and challenges of this training. The study also presents a brief background of the Somaliland judiciary and its overall challenges.

Introduction

Somaliland’s Judiciary reform initiative started in 2008, after the Ministry of Justice and Judiciary Affairs organized a Conference which had justice reform as its theme. Somaliland Justice Stakeholders such as international donors, civil society groups and community leaders were invited. Mainly, judiciary reform concerns the Justice sector, including the different levels of Courts and Prosecution (Lower courts such as district or regional, and Appeal Courts and Supreme Court). Most of the judges get training from the justice reform project and Ministry of Justice supported this to train more than 100 law graduates as Judges, Prosecutors and Judiciary staff in the last four years. They are part of the judiciary system now; most of them are Judges, Prosecutors, case manager officers, Court Registrars and Deputy Attorneys, national solicitors and Ministry of Justice officers.

Although some obstacles were encountered during the phases of the Somaliland Judiciary Reform strategy 2012-2017 – law professional trainings, mobile courts, legal aid and court reforms – in this time 115 law graduates have graduated from the Ministry of Justice’s training program, and most of them are working in the justice sector. However there remain huge gaps which need to be addressed. For example, training of law graduates for the judiciary sector is very important. For judges, lawyers, prosecutors and courts administrators get training is an essential element of judicial independence, as it helps to ensure the competency of the judiciary. This is because if judges get enough legal skills and knowledge they can act and perform their professional duties and the quality of the judiciary is an essential component in achieving access to justice. If the Judiciary staff is professional and qualified then justice will be sustained and this is a key element in maintaining the high quality of the judiciary.

In this research we will first explain the overall challenges faced by Somaliland Judiciary Reform, especially in the last four years. After that we specifically assess in the findings section: how successful has the Ministry of Justice’s training program been? What are the outmost barriers faced in training law graduates for the Justice Sector? We also examine how trained law graduates contribute to the improvement of the justice system in Somaliland. Who are the biggest recruiters or goes in to Judiciary Positions? We also point out in the study the gaps and the further areas on which researchers can develop in their own studies. to read full report download Pdf somaliland-judiciary-reform

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