Capacity Building and Development of Criminal Justice Systems

Criminal Justice Reform

Technical assistance is provided to assist the Member States of the region in developing or improving their criminal justice systems by strengthening their capacities and performance. The Regional Office focuses on providing specialized trainings to judges and prosecutors and on promoting the rule of law. Support is also provided to assist Member States in adapting their legislation and procedures to enhance the capacity of their criminal justice practitioners to respond to the growing need to establish institutional and ongoing international cooperation in criminal matters with neighbouring states as well as with other countries, in the framework of implementing joint cooperation projects. This will be achieved through the development of a set of tools for the beneficiary countries focusing on strengthening international cooperation mechanisms in the Arab region through capacity and institution building, and by furthering working relationships among counterparts within the MENA region.

Enhancing the regional and subregional forensic capacities to a higher level will underpin both the work in criminal justice reform and organised crime prevention. UNODC activities in the area concentrate on the promotion of best practices in crime scene management, the establishment and improvement of laboratory facilities for analysing forensic evidence, and the promotion of regional and subregional networking among forensic science institutes to establish a regional support infrastructure and improve the sharing of data and experiences.

Ongoing Projects

Support to the Process of Criminal Justice Reform in Libya (LBYS66)

Forensic Service Assistance Programme for the Palestinian Authority (PSEX02)

Completed Projects

Improving the Criminal Justice System through Support to Penal Reform in Lebanon(LBNS92)

Preparatory Assistance Project to Access Justice and Legal Aid in the Arab Region (XMET31)

Juvenile Justice

Drawing on the experience and lessons learned from UNODC projects on juvenile justice in the region, the two regional training events on child victims and witnesses, and on the measurement of juvenile justice indicators that took place in 2009, UNODC has become ready to expand its technical support in this area. Work focuses on a comprehensive and integrated child centred approach, which includes strengthening legislative capacity so as to encompass alternatives to imprisonment, restorative justice and the decriminalization of status offenses (such as begging, running away from house and vagrancy, etc.), as well as on the development of specialized institutions dealing with children in contact with the law (children in conflict with the law, children at risk, and child victims and witnesses of crime), strengthening the capacity of workers in this area, and on developing appropriate rehabilitation and reintegration strategies. The Regional Office has spearheaded two projects in Egypt: focusing on strengthening the legislative and institutional capacity of juvenile justice, and the reintegration of released children and youth into society. Furthermore, ROMENA has embarked upon a project in Jordan that aims to provide support to the juvenile justice system.