Van Cutsem (2007). Equal Access to Justice in Southern Sudan
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By signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on the 9th of January 2005, the Government of Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and its political arm, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), agreed to divide representation across all sectors of government and opted for a decentralized system of government with significant devolved powers. At the end of the six-and-a-half-year long Interim Period, the SPLM and the Government of Sudan will jointly organize an internationally monitored referendum for the people of South Sudan that will determine the south’s political status.
On the basis of the CPA, a new Interim National Constitution (INC) was drafted and entered into force on 9 July 2005. The Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan (ICSS) was approved by the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly on 5 December 2005.
The present study aims to contribute to establishing a secure foundation for the judicial system through an analysis of the functioning of the courts and the legal aid system two years after the signing of the CPA. The goal of the project is not to monitor the human rights situation in South Sudan, but to observe and map the current functioning of the judicial system, to understand the role of every stakeholder in the judicial process, to identify the main challenges faced by all stakeholders and the possible barriers restricting access to justice for the population, and to formulate recommendations for the rule of law institutions which could be useful to further the implementation of an effective and accessible justice system.