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Memorandum of Understanding signing at the Judicial Commission's headquarters

Jakarta (Indonesia), 20 November 2009 - UNODC and the Indonesian Judicial Commission officially formalized their partnership by signing a memorandum of understanding at a ceremony at the Judicial Commission's headquarters. Through the memorandum, UNODC and the Judicial Commission commit themselves to building the Commission's capacity and its judicial watch network.

The ceremony was opened by Ajit Joy, UNODC Crime Prevention Expert, and Busyro Muqoddas, Chairman of the Judicial Commission. The event was attended by representatives of the Judicial Commission and UNODC, as well as the media. During the ceremony, UNODC formally handed over three computer servers to enable the Commission to build a database for monitoring judicial performance and an online public complaints system.

UNODC will support the Judicial Commission, the Government agency responsible for investigating public complaints relating to judicial conduct, primarily through phase two of the project " Strengthening Judicial Integrity". Funded by the Government of Germany, the project aims to strengthen the rule of law and enhance access to justice at the national and the sub-national level.

In particular, UNODC will provide technical assistance to strengthen the Commission's existing judicial watch networks in South-East Sulawesi, South Sumatra, Riau and East Java, and support the establishment of new networks in Bali, South Sulawesi, North Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara and East Kalimantan. The judicial watch networks are a key ally in the Commission's fight against judicial corruption. The networks comprise universities, non-governmental organizations and community organizations at the provincial level that serve as a point of contact for public complaints relating to judicial conduct.

After signing the memorandum of understanding, Mr. Muqqodas acknowledged that enhancing the role of civil society is the most important priority in light of indications that the justice system in Indonesia may not be fully independent and transparent. Mr. Muqqodas noted that civil society can assist State agencies to fulfill their mandates and said he looked forward to strengthening the relationship between the law and justice sector and civil society.