The Evaluation of the Three Years’ Achievements of the Ministry of Justice

Published Through 8am, Monday, 30 July 2018

Ministry of Justice is one of the key institutions of the Government of Afghanistan. this ministry, during the last three years of the National Unity Government (NUG), has had important and responsive role in reformations and fulfillment of the commitments of the government of Afghanistan before international community. Ministry of Justice is neither a lawmaking nor a law enforcement body, rather, this ministry, as a legal and justice institution, having its specific responsibilities such as scrutinizing and processing legislative documents in accordance with the acceded international conventions, rehabilitation of violator juveniles, attending petitions and investigating property, debt, civil and family related cases of citizens, implementation of the final verdicts of courts, prevention of land usurpation and financial interests of government, provision of free legal services for indigent accused and suspects, legal awareness, processing of petitions related to abandoning and acquiring citizenship, registration of political parties, social organizations and property dealers are the specific responsibilities that ministry of justice undertakes.

We all know that ensuring rule of law and access to justice are still unfeasible in developing countries. Corruption, as an inheritance of previous government, threatens government and its reforms. Ignorance of law in remote areas of the country, results in penetration of the ideology of terroristic groups; insecurity and war prevent provision of better legal services, however, despite all problems being encountered by every developing government, the Ministry of Justice of Afghanistan, in most cases, has had remarkable achievements.

Ministry of Justice of the National Unity Government has taken important steps in brining reforms, specifically, in the area of legislation. Though the kingship of King Amanullah Khan is deemed as one of the prosperous periods in legislation, but the National Unity Government, with taking into account the six-phase of legislation (designing, scrutiny, ratification, approval, endorsement and publication), has been remarkably different. Ministry of justice with realizing the need for legislation, and as an institution with key and specific responsibilities, has designed, scrutinized and processed around 300 legislative documents.

Penal code, Anti-Torture Law, Public Private Partnership Law, Law on Elimination of Violence against Women, Law on Prohibition of Recruitment of Children in Armed forces, Law on Marriage Ceremony, and other laws and legislative documents have been scrutinized and processed by the Ministry of Justice in the last three years. In most of the cabinet sessions, one or more than two legislative documents are discussed and voted. With realizing the need for professional and standard legislation, Ministry of Justice of Afghanistan conducted Taqnin Stage course, which has so far graduated its first group of students.

Minister of Justice in its Hundred-Day plan had declared that 56 percent employees of the Ministry of Justice held bachelorette degrees which was a serious challenge for the Ministry of Justice in proceeding its reforms at the time, but this figure has been reduced to 43 percent in the last three years of the National Unity Government. 100 employees have been introduced to bachelor and master’s programs, 462 others have been newly appointed for vacant positions, and More than 3500 employees of the Ministry of justice have been introduced to short term training programs inside and outside the country. These are clear signs indicating commitment of the Ministry of Justice towards professionalizing its staff.

The United Nation Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), after evaluating the overall status of violator juveniles, appreciated the job of Ministry of Justice for the first time. Since the beginning of the National Unity Government (NUG) to date, more than 10,000 juveniles have been rehabilitated, 11 psychiatrists have been appointed, and foreign medias have been allowed to visit the juvenile rehabilitation centers and portray their status.

In the last three years, the development plan on status of Hoquq and governmental cases department was drafted and implemented, processing of large number of cases pending since long ago has begun, thousands of cases and petitions of citizens have been processed, legal consultation center has been established, millions of acres of land and millions of Afs have been protected, and case management system (CMS) has been extended throughout the country.

Lack of adequate legal conditions and constant monitoring from the activities of political parties, social organizations, and property dealers, had resulted in rising their numbers, likewise, their functionality and transparency were not satisfactory, for that, Ministry of justice has taken series of legal and reformative measures to make effective use of them.

Before the National Unity Government (NUG), Ministry of Justice could only process 30- 50 legislative documents in a year, fortunately, this number has been increased to 70 -100 legislative documents recently. likewise, educational and livelihood facilities of violator juveniles were not fair, structural capacity of Hoquq and Governmental cases departments were low, the number of cases remained uninvestigated were high, the process of providing legal services were not satisfactory, therefore, the Ministry of Justice with taking into account these facts, established the legal consultation center which provides legal consultations to dozens of citizens daily.

We believe that people have the right to know about the responsibilities and authorities of the Ministry of Justice, and, evaluate the performances of this ministry accordingly.

Though, our main focus should have been on legislation in this evaluation, but considering the variety of the responsibilities of the Ministry of Justice, other duties and functions of this ministry have also been detailed. People should know that Ministry of Justice ensure justice through bringing reforms in legislation. Ministry of justice, in order to ensure access to justice and draw the trust of people, has reviewed its systems and is committed to continue this process.

Ministry of Justice, within its authorities, is committed to ensure justice and combat administrative corruption. Ministry of justice continues efforts to achieve its objectives.  legislative reforms, provision of better legal service, combatting administrative corruption, transparency and accountability, enhancing administrative, technical and experimental abilities of employees are the main objectives of the Ministry of Justice which will be followed to achieve in upcoming years.

Ministry of Justice, with fulfilling its responsibilities, sternly strives to prove itself as a responsible, accountable and trust worthy institution.