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Reinforcing the rule of law in post-conflict countries


UNICRI supports the process towards sustainable development, peace building and democratic consolidation through a holistic and coherent approach to crime prevention, justice and strengthening the rule of law. The Institute supports the enhancement of accountability and helps building strong judicial and security entities in post-conflict countries.

To achieve these objectives UNICRI develops analytical tools and research, builds up knowledge to identify and better comprehend the criminal justice issues which undermine peace-building and post-conflict recovery. Such efforts are crucial to better understand organized crime and security threats, assess their impact and related risk factors and support the development of effective and appropriate policy and law.

Drawing on its training tools, UNICRI work closely with and provide support to other international organizations in delivering high quality capacity-building assistance to law enforcement agencies, security forces and justice institutions, and other government institutions, reinforcing and enhancing them through management, review and oversight mechanisms in close coordination and partnership with domestic and international stakeholders.

This also includes supporting and fostering dialogue to design and implement national policies and strategies for reforming the criminal justice systems and promoting a culture of lawfulness. Efforts to strengthen the rule of law envisages the involvement and participation of relevant stakeholders including civil society organizations, and the empowerment of all segments of society, particularly women, children, minorities and other marginalized groups. UNICRI aims to empower local communities to combat threats to security and development.

Main outcomes:

  1. Improved understanding and knowledge of the gaps within the criminal justice systems, the risk factors and the possible linkages between transnational organized and terrorism, which undermine peace-building and post-conflict recovery.
  2. Improved capacity of post-conflict countries to strengthen their criminal justice, law enforcement and oversight institutions.
  3. Enhanced capacity of peacekeeping and peacebuilding personnel in post-conflict countries on criminal justice and security governance.

As the nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism plays out within local communities, local engagement invariably becomes part of the front-line efforts designed to address this nexus.

UNICRI has undertaken several initiatives to strengthen sustainable development, peace building, the rule of law and democratic processes by promoting  accountable institutions and building strong judicial systems in post-conflict countries. This also included raising the awareness of national stakeholders on needs and gaps identified within their national systems, to fully comply with the international juvenile justice standards also in their counter-terrorism policies and practices.

UNICRI provided national law enforcement agencies with reliable instruments for developing security plans and practices in the full respect of their national legislation and international policing standards and in strict compliance with international human rights and binding conventions. Those elements were also important components of the trainings offered to beneficiary countries.

UNICRI's support to Member States in tracing and recovering assets linked to corruption and other forms of serious crime also contributed to enhance the rule of law and public confidence, and served as a model for those post-conflict countries that may start the recovery of stolen assets.

In ten communities of Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger, UNICRI has promoted a more transparent management of public affairs. In partnership with the Réseau des Organisations pour la Transparence et l’Analyse Budgétaire (ROTAB), it has supported the municipal authorities in conducting an inclusive and participatory budget development process. The process of democratising budget development contribute to build citizens’ confidence in local institutions through a more inclusive decision-making process and transparent resource management. With its involvement, UNICRI supported social cohesion and contributed to enhance security.

UNICRI also contributed to the reinforcement of the rule of law in developing and post-conflict countries through learning activities at post-graduate and professional level. The training expertise of UNICRI and its ability to design courses and elaborate manuals are indeed well-suited to the purpose of strengthening the rule of law and reinforcing the legal capacities of post-conflict countries.