Advancing Access to Justice for All

For twenty years, NCSC has worked throughout Sub-Saharan Africa to strengthen justice systems and services, and advance access to justice for all. NCSC is working to transform court services through digital transformation and process innovation.  

Supporting Access to Justice, Fostering Equity and Peace (August 2012 – August 2018)

The Supporting Access to Justice, Fostering Equity and Peace (SAFE) Program was designed to improve access to justice in land-related matters and to enhance peace and reconciliation efforts in conflict-prone regions in Uganda. To advance these objectives, the NCSC-implemented SAFE program provided technical assistance, training, and grant-funding opportunities for community-based groups. SAFE also addressed cross-cutting themes relating to gender, youth, anti-corruption, oil and national resource extraction.

Program results

  • Locally elected or appointed land officials responsible for land administration were provided with training to perform their roles for the first time. More than 300 officials were trained.
  • SAFE raised awareness of key legislation on and rights among traditional authorities, and increased legal representation and paralegal services available to marginalized communities
  • Communities learned about their land rights through awareness-raising campaigns through social networks, radio programs, and mobile clinics
  • SAFE helped strengthen the capacity of non-state actors, especially civil society, through the development and publication of a capacity-building guide for civil-society organizations
  • More than 300 local conflict monitors were trained to respond to conflict drivers effectively
  • More than 200 local leaders were trained in alternative dispute resolution approaches

The SAFE Program was funded by USAID and implemented by NCSC in partnership with Search for Common Ground and more than 30 local partner organizations.

Rwanda Decentralization of Judicial Administration and Financial Management (February 2005 – January 2006)

The Decentralization of Judicial Administration and Financial Management Project was implemented to strengthen Rwanda’s judicial reform process and to further develop the rule of law in Rwanda through improving the performance of the judiciary’s institutions. NCSC provided members of the Supreme Court of Rwanda with recommendations on how to implement a decentralization strategy and how to reorganize judicial management, as well as technical support in implementing these recommendations.

Project results

  • NCSC provided the Supreme Court of Rwanda with recommendations on how to improve judicial financial management;
  • NCSC’s financial procedure manual was integrated into the training program for the National Center for Training and Judicial Development.
  • For the first time, the Supreme Court had its own financial procedure manual approved by the Office of the Auditor General.

The Decentralization of Judicial Administration and Financial Management Project was funded by USAID and implemented by NCSC.

Justice Sector Strengthening Program (October 2010 – July 2012)  

The South African Justice Sector Strengthening Program (JSSP) was a locally driven rule of law assistance project which provided operational and technical support to the South African justice sector institutions to implement institutional reforms. JSSP improved court administration and management and judicial case flow management and strengthened the prosecution and adjudication of gender-based violence and sexual offenses.

Project results

  • Integrated training on investigation of sexual offenses was improved, resulting in a bolstered prosecution service;
  • NCSC identified priority intervention areas to strengthen intermediary services in courts;
  • NGOs received training to monitor and report sexual offence cases.

The JSSP Program was funded by USAID and implemented by NCSC.


Nigeria Rule of Law Assistance Project-Phase I (October 2000 – July 2003)

Under the first phase of the Nigeria Rule of Law Assistance Project, NCSC aided the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Abuja and the State High Courts of Lagos and Kaduna for a Nigerian-led process to improve Nigeria’s justice sector. NCSC assisted leaders from executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as civil society organizations and the Bar Association, to develop a consensus and identify priorities for change in the judiciary.

Project results

  • Following strategic planning with the FCT of Abuja, the High Court dedicated the Abuja Multidoor Courthouse as an alternative dispute resolution center.
  • Pilot court jurisdictions created specialized divisions and adopted new data collection standards, resulting in few adjournments.
  • The budget formulation for the State High Court of Kaduna was adopted by the National judicial Council as a role model for budget formulation, upon which other states were asked to base their own budgets.

The Nigeria Rule of Law Assistance Project was funded by USAID and implemented by NCSC. 

Nigeria Rule of Law Assistance Project-Phase II (August 2002-March 2005)

Due to the successes of Phase I of the Nigeria Rule of Law Assistance Project, USAID approved a phase II in which NCSC provided technical assistance in improving budget preparation and management, increasing case disposition, improving the ethical behavior of the judiciary, and improve the public’s access to court information. An addition pilot court, the High Court of Rivers state, was added to the three courts that were assisted under Phase I.

Project results

  • NCSC staff developed and installed new case tracking software in computers purchased for the pilot courts. The Case Tracking System developed by NCSC was introduced at the Advanced Case Management Workshop.
  • NCSC facilitated several workshops on Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques led by international and local consultants.
  • NCSC conducted trainings on the use of Electronic Court Recording machines for the personnel of the four model courts.

The Nigeria Rule of Law Assistance Project was funded by USAID and implemented by NCSC. 

Justice for All Programme (July 2013 – March 2017)

The Justice for All (J4A) Programme supported the development of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and its passage into law at the federal level in 2015. The ACJA included provisions and mechanisms for expediting criminal trials and reducing causes of delay; and ensuring that the Judiciary is more accountable, transparent, and predictable. J4A also supported the Judiciary for the Federal Capital Territory with implementation of the ACJA.

The J4A Program was funded by the British Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by the British Council in partnership with NCSC.

Justice Sector Support Program (January 2006 – December 2007)

The Justice Sector Support Program in Liberia (JSSL) provided broad-based assistance to strengthen the capacity of the Liberian criminal justice system to investigate crimes, prosecute offenders, and provide fair representation to defendants. NCSC assisted the prime contractor, PAE, to identify and deploy experts to serve as advisors to Liberian criminal justice agencies and the Ministry of Justice. These advisors provided technical assistance and training to relevant agencies.

The JSSL Program was funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and implemented by PAE in partnership with NCSC.