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Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Supreme Court of Vanuatu

This project aims to strengthen institutional capacity of the Supreme Court of Vanuatu to reduce backlog of cases and improve administration of justice.

Country: Vanuatu
Host: Supreme Court of Vanuatu
Start date: 17/08/2012
End date: 16/08/2016
Policy area: Rule of Law
Policy expert: Mark Guthrie

Project manager: Oluwatoyin Job

Background

This project is part of the ongoing Commonwealth technical assistance to the Government of Vanuatu to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Supreme Court.

Goal

This project aims to reduce the backlog of cases and improve administration of justice, particularly with regard to the disposal of commercial cases.

Impact

In the short term, the project will improve the timely delivery of cases. In the long term, the project will contribute to business and investor confidence in the judicial system through effective judicial processes and the adoption of internationally required good practice in the administration of justice.

The beneficiaries are the officials and judges within the Supreme Court and the people of Vanuatu.

Outputs
  1. The assistance has continued to enhanced the capacity of the Judiciary especially the Supreme Court to effectively facilitate the administration and delivery of the rule of law and justice. Out of the total 124 cases pending on the expert judge’s docket at the end of the project; only 4 were older than 4 years. 120 are cases filed between 2010 and 2014. This is indicative of the focus and concentration of the system to target long outstanding cases.
  2. The long term benefit of the project is the shortening of the age of pending cases, and the movement of the court system to a clearer and definitive time standard benchmark. Already, there is a reduction of the age of cases [five years] and a reduction of the number of cases over 5 years old, pending in the Supreme Court.
  3. The depth of knowledge and experience of the experts and the resultant growth of the ability of the Supreme Court to deal with its pending cases as well as the freshly lodged cases, showed the recruitments were timely and the periodic written reports and the assistance to the expert with administrative and settlement issues showed the Commonwealth’s maturity in implementing projects of this nature.
  4. Out of the total 124 cases pending on the expert judge’s docket at the end of the project only four were older than four years and 120 cases were filed between 2010 and 2014. This is indicative of the focus and concentration of the system to target long outstanding cases.
  5. A long term benefit of the project is the shortening of the age of pending cases, and the movement of the court system to a clearer and definitive time standard benchmark. Already, there is a reduction of the age of cases [five years], and a reduction of the number of cases over five years old pending in the Supreme Court. The on-going support with a Judge and a Master of the Court will continue and create sustainability in the long run.