Improving Access to Justice: New Building for Balkh’s Department of Justice

Yesterday, Balkh’s Deputy Governor, Mr Abdul Basheir Tawhidy, inaugurated the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) new building in Mazar-e Sharif. The department’s former building burned down in 2015. Afterwards, the DoJ moved to an inadequately equipped rental house. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme to promote the rule of law in Afghanistan (RoL) funded the new DoJ building’s construction to help ensuring the population’s access to justice.

At the inauguration ceremony, the Consul General of Germany to Northern Afghanistan, Dr. Robert Klinke, commented, “May this new building be a place to ensure both the stability of the law and legal relations and the sound administration of justice for all, individuals and communities alike”. Representatives of Balkh’s line departments, the provincial council, the governor’s office and local elders attended the event.

The construction works started in October 2016 and went on for about a year. The new building has three floors and is equipped with 22 standard rooms, a conference room, a safe room and security cameras. About 40 staff of Balkh’s Department of Justice will benefit from an improved working environment, ensuring the proper delivery of public services to the citizens. Between 120 to 150 customers are expected to visit the department each day.

The programme Promotion of the Rule of Law in Afghanistan (RoL) is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme aims at ensuring the rule of law, a well-functioning judicial system and legal security in Afghanistan. To promote legal security for all citizens, RoL has been supporting so-called Huquq bureaus which handled more than 77,000 civil cases since 2013. In the same time, to support higher legal education, RoL provided more than 30,000 books to law and sharia faculties, organised more than 150 courses on legal topics for students and lecturers and awarded more than 60 students with scholarships. RoL further trained almost 13,000 police staff to carry out duties according to law. The programme also emphasises promoting women’s rights and strengthening their access to justice as well as the job market.

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