Fair trial workshop held in Rumajak
The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) held a Fair Trial Workshop at the operational base of UNISFA in Rumajak, Abyei area on 1-2 August 2019. Conducted by UNISFA's Community Liaison Office (CLO) with support from the Gender Office and UN Police, the workshop was attended by 41 participants including traditional judges, women union and youth union representatives, as well as Bar Association and Community Protection Committee members.
The workshop provided the participants with legal concepts on fair trial as guaranteed by both South Sudan legal frameworks and International Law including an understanding of South Sudan constitutional Bill of Rights provisions on fundamental Human Rights of the people including the rights to a fair trial.
The workshop covered topics such as the importance of upholding human rights to protect the society within traditional laws in line with the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 and International Human Rights Standards.
Furthermore, the facilitators shared with participants the international best practices on fair trial and judicial independence, as well as an overview of the International Criminal Principles and interviewing techniques.
The traditional justice practitioners were also sensitized and advised on fundamental human rights and women rights, standards in the rule of law and fair trial. Some case scenarios of unfair traditional trials against women were discussed such as “ the adultery case” while providing concrete examples on how the traditional justice cases/ proceedings are against women’s rights and human rights; providing the audience with specific legal provisions on women’s protection and women’s equality as set in South Sudan Constitution and other national legal frameworks.
The final part of the workshop included practical working group sessions for participants to come up with shortfalls and practical recommendations on how to address them.
The Ngok Dinka's Deputy Paramount Chief committed to include women as advisers in traditional trials as impartial actors. Additionally, the judiciary personnel reiterated the supremacy of South Sudan Constitution and Statutory Law emphasizing on the traditional trials shortfalls and pledged for alignment with South Sudan Constitution and laws.