ARD is currently implementing a rule of law and anticorruption project pursuant to a three-year contract (including a two-year option) with USAID. The purpose of the project is to help Nepal address the important and systemic legal and institutional impediments to meaningful reform. The project seeks to:
- Enhance the quality of governmental and civil society initiatives to reform; and
- Modernize the Nepali justice system, while strengthening the national capacity to combat corruption.
Achievement of these two objectives will provide Nepal with the essential elements for good governance and consolidation of a democracy that is more responsive and accountable to citizen needs.
Rule of law activities under this project will include:
- Strengthening the defense representation system;
- Strengthening the administration and management capacity of the judiciary in Nepal;
- Supporting judicial institutions such as the Judicial Academy, the Judges Society, and the Judicial Council;
- Providing a more effective mechanism for enforcing judicial decisions; and
- Developing a court-related alternative dispute resolution system. Anticorruption activities will include:
- Promoting broadly-based corruption awareness and prevention campaigns (especially in the nongovernmental sector); and
- Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, the Special Anticorruption Court, the Office of the Attorney General, and the National Vigilance Center.
ARD’s team consists of a Chief of Party, an Anticorruption Specialist, a Court Administration and Management Specialist, and a Rule of Law (Justice) Coordinator.
The project has supported the Supreme Court’s program to implement computerized records and document management with project support for improvement of archives at the Special Court, Lalitpur District Court, Parsa District Court, and Patan Appellate Court. Case files have been organized, documents reviewed, and case data organized for entry in computers. The Judges Society Nepal has been activated with new officers and directors and office furnishings and equipment. The Judicial Academy received furniture and equipment and has completed its Strategic Plan and a Training Assessment. The court-related alternative dispute program is moving forward with training of mediators and the organization of mediation centers to administer activities at the Supreme Court and Patan Appellate Court. Furniture and equipment have been provided to the Special Court and Patan Appellate Court and they are now among the best-equipped courts in Nepal.
Corruption awareness and prevention programs in the 5 Nepali regions are ongoing. Local Coordination Forums, which are partnerships between government and civil society, have been established in these regions. Public service announcements on corruption and media coverage of corruption activities inform the public of the cost of corruption. Journalists have been trained in techniques for investigating corruption.
For more information about this project, please visit the project Web site: www.ardrol.com.np.