PROGRAM AREAS & OPPORTUNITIES

  • Court Management and Administration
  • Judicial Independence
  • Judicial Ethics and Accountability
  • Strategic Planning and Program Design

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Strengthening the Independence of the Judiciary and Citizen Access to Justice in Lebanon
 Lebanon Courtroom

Interior of the renovated Beirut Judgment Enforcements Court (model court.)

NCSC is implementing the SIJCAJ Project in Lebanon. USAID awarded NCSC a three-year task order in December 2007, and NCSC began implementation in January 2008.

The funding amount of the project is $8.2 million. The SIJCAJ project is the first US-sponsored rule of law project of this magnitude in Lebanon.

Objectives of the SIJCAJ Project are to increase the independence and effectiveness of the Lebanese judicial system, namely: increase judicial training capacity, enable frameworks that support judicial independence and impartiality, promote efficient court administration, and increase access to justice.

The project offers a small-grants program for civil society organizations to advance rule of law and justice sector reform. In March 2009, USAID expanded the scope of the SIJCAJ Project to include a justice sector strategic planning initiative and refurbishment of the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) and the Beirut Judgment Enforcement Courthouse (SIJCAJ Projects model court).

The SIJCAJ Project consists of eight programmatic tasks.

1. Increase the capacity of the JTI to provide judicial training

2. Support efforts by High Judicial Council (HJC) and Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to strength judicial independence and accountability, including judicial ethics and discipline

3. Modernize court administration practices, reduce case backlog, and develop best practices in a model court setting

4. Improve citizen access to justice and the quality legal aid services provided by bar associations

5. Support local civil society organizations in implementing initiatives related to the justice sector

6. Assist the Lebanese justice sector with a strategic planning framework

7. Provide architectural-engineering services for design and bid phase of renovation projects

8. Renovate the JTI facility and the Beirut Judgment Enforcement Courthouse (model court)

Accomplishments

1. Increase the capacity of the JTI to provide judicial training

  • JTI has implemented improved recruitment and screening procedures for selection of judicial trainees
  • Creation of JTI Web site and e-library informational system
  • Modernization of JTI curriculum
  • Delivery of a series of training seminars for judges