Governments of Nepal & UNDP launch a three-year project to enhance access to justice

Kathmandu– The Government of Nepal Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and UNDP on Monday launched the Enhancing Access to Justice through Institutional Reform  project aimed at enhancing access to justice of women, poor and vulnerable groups in Nepal, UNDP said in a press release.

 To be implemented through the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (MOLJPA) jointly with the Office of the Attorney General and Nepal Bar Association, the $4.6 million project is funded by the Norwegian Government and UNDP.

H.E. Mr. Lasse Bjørn Johannessen, Ambassador, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu and UNDP Country Director Mr. Renaud Meyer signed the agreement on Monday at the Ministry in Singhadurbar, Kathmandu. The Norwegian Government will contribute $3.6 million and UNDP $1 million to the project.

The three-year project aims to enhance people’s access to justice by helping the Ministry make needful reforms in the legal aid regime in Nepal. The project will also support in effectively implementing the integrated legal aid policy, currently being finalized by the Ministry. The policy aims to provide free legal aid services to the poor and vulnerable people across the country, the press release reads.

The project will help reform the criminal and civil justice systems by providing necessary technical and capacity support to the judicial committees set up at the local governments of Province 2, 6 and 7, particularly with the aim to promote access to justice of women, poor and vulnerable groups, said Rajib Gautam, Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.

“This project aligns itself with one of the major priorities of this government – that is to improve access to justice. Through this project we plan to carry out a number of targeted interventions, from building capacity of the judicial committees at the local governments to making needful reforms in the existing laws to ensure the poor and the vulnerable have access to justice,” said Hon. Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Sher Bahadur Tamang.

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