The Foundation holds Access to Justice Workshops for Lower Courts of South Sudan

Two Workshops with Judges of the High Courts and County Courts

On 18-19 and 20-21 November 2019, the Max Planck Foundation in collaboration with the Judiciary of South Sudan organised dual workshops on the topic “International and Comparative Perspectives on Fair Trials and the Law of Evidence,” held within the framework of the project Supporting Institutional Access to Justice in South Sudan funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

The two-day workshops were each attended by twenty-five judges of the High Courts and County Courts of South Sudan. Of particular note was the attendance of twenty judges from outside Juba at each of the workshops, making a total of forty participants from the regions.

The workshops were opened by the Chief Justice of South Sudan, HE Justice Chan Reec Madut, and the Director of Training at the Judiciary, Justice Benjamin Baak Deng. The second workshop was also opened by the Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy to South Sudan, Janika Walter. All representatives emphasised to the participants the importance of this topic in improving the access to justice landscape in the country.

The sessions during the workshops provided a comprehensive introduction to the various legal principles and standards of fair trial rights and the law of evidence from international, regional and domestic perspectives. Topics discussed included: fair trial rights and evidentiary rules during the pre-trial phase; the rights and rules during the trial phase; and derogations from fair trial rights. The participants were also engaged in discussions on fair trial rights and the law of evidence as contained in South Sudanese legal instruments, while deliberating on select jurisprudence from specific regional courts and tribunals.