Workshop on the Role of the Judiciary in Elections in South Sudan

The Max Planck Foundation recently conducted a workshop for the Judiciary of South Sudan under the framework of the project ‘Supporting Constitution-Making, Legal Harmonisation and Judicial Reform in South Sudan’, which is being implemented with the generous financial assistance of the European Union.

The three-day workshop on “The Role of the Judiciary in Elections” was held in Juba for more than 25 Justices and Judges from around the country with the aim of providing the Judges and Justices of South Sudan with a comprehensive understanding of their role as an arbiter in disputes relating to electoral proceedings.

Throughout the three days the participants engaged in lively discussions on the role that the Judiciary plays in electoral dispute settlement. The workshop sessions covered topics such as a review of the concept of free, fair and democratic elections as an international standard and in the context of comparative jurisdictions, South Sudan’s legal framework pertaining to elections and the Judiciary’s history in dealing with electoral disputes. The workshop focused on questions of electoral dispute settlement with three sessions addressing the role of the Judiciary before, during and after elections and the participants also engaged actively in reviewing the role of the Judiciary in the 2010 general elections in the (then united) Sudan. On the final day of the workshop, the Judges reflected on case studies involving different electoral offences.

The workshop was officially opened and closed by the Rt Hon Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut, and the Rt Hon Deputy Chief Justice Dr John Gatwech Lul, preceded by the speeches of the Head of the EU Delegation to South Sudan, H.E. Ambassador Timo Olkkonen, the Director of Learning and Training for the Judiciary of South Sudan, Justice Dr Benjamin Baak Deng, and the Foundation’s Head of South Sudan Projects.