Stockholm, Sweden — The International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) released a new report at the 2017 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development today that recommends how to improve criminal justice sector institutions in the Central African Republic after years of instability.
Christian Ahlund, ILAC’s founding executive director and team leader in Bangui, presented key findings from ILAC’s Rule of Law Assessment Report, Central Africa Republic (2017) to an audience with high-level representation from the African Union and g7+.
He told the audience that the report underscores how the international community can support national justice in the Central African Republic, “one of the most difficult scenarios I have encountered in my 15 years of conducting rule of law assessments with ILAC.”
In October 2016, ILAC’s six-person assessment team met with over 50 Central African legal professionals and civil society actors from throughout the country. The report provides a present state-of-affairs of institutions and actors in the Central African Republic’s criminal justice system as well as concrete recommendations on how to rebuild.
The Central African Republic’s Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Peace Keeping Operation (MINUSCA) supported ILAC’s mission.
“While the Central African Republic’s justice sector lacks even the most basic infrastructure and administrative capacities,” said Ahlund. “ILAC tried to provide a blueprint for prioritizing professional training for all actors in the system on key issues such as international standards on due process and fair trial, as well as gender justice.”
The report, funded by the Swedish government, also recommends various measures to be taken to help reverse the situation in the Central African Republic where alarming numbers of women and children are subject to sexual crimes with the perpetrators going unpunished.
“These measures include victim and witness protection programs which would also help serve a Special Criminal Court,” concluded Ahlund.
With a focus on “Sustaining peace: what works?,” the 2017 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development identified good practices in peacebuilding interventions. The Forum gathers annually more than 300 international development policymakers, practitioners and academics from around the world, and is co-hosted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Founded in 2002, ILAC is an international Consortium that brings together 50 professional associations and legal professionals from all over the world to share their wealth of expertise with national stakeholders who are rebuilding their justice institutions after conflict.
For more information on the assessment or to speak with Christian Ahlund, please contact Quinn O’Keefe (firstname.lastname@example.org.)