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Rule of Law, Democracy and Good Governance

The rule of law, democracy and good governance are very much interrelated. The framework of the rule of law serves as the foundation for a democratic society. Democracy, the rule of law and good governance are the key elements that are imperative for the existence of an “ideal state”. Democracy provides a conducive and stimulating environment for the rule of law to thrive, while the rule of law sustains democracy. Good governance, on the other hand, promotes and strengthens both democracy and the rule of law in every modern society.

The Constitution of Pakistan supports rule of law and due process of law, but unfortunately the country has achieved little success to reap fruits of these legal terms. Pakistan was ranked at 117 amongst 126 countries in the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index (2018-19).

The rule of law, democracy and good governance are at the heart of Vision & Mission of LRF. LRF promotes rule of law, democracy and good governance in Pakistan and is helping to ensure, economic equality, fairness and civic participation. LRF works with government and its institutions to advance democracy, good governance and rule of law in the country. LRF believes that rule of law, democracy and good governance are the major features of any civilized society and their absence often degenerates to dictatorship and authoritarianism.

LRF is strengthening and promoting the rule of law, democracy and good governance in Pakistan ranging from the alignment of legislative and regulatory frameworks with international standards and norms across the criminal justice system and redressal of anomalies in criminals’ laws and policies; development of SOPs of Laws; supporting Government in Laws implementation; provision of Technical Advice in formulation of new laws and Rules of Business (RoB); building capacity of State Actors; promoting Sustainable Development Goal No.16 for strengthening Government institutions; building capacity of Lawyers; and conducting research to give policy feedback to the Government. LRF has been facilitating improvement in Police Investigative process and prisons management reforms; strengthening prosecution, judiciary and bar councils/association; prompting and protecting human rights; and ensuring redressal of anomalies in laws and parliamentary oversight.

Highlights

LRF contribution from June 2007 till December 2019 in strengthening the rule of law, democracy and good governance is as under:

Legislation

  • LRF played role in constitutional 18th Amendments particularly focusing on enshrined Article 10-A (Free and Fair Trail and Due Process of Law) in the Constitution of Pakistan.
  • LRF played role in formulation of laws i.e. the National Commission for Human Rights Act, 2012; Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013; The Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, 2015; the Legal Aid and Justice Authority Act, 2019; and Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2018.
  • LRF has played role in revising Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Dar-ul-Amans in Sindh.
  • LRF has translated the Sindh Youth Policy, 2018 in local languages in collaboration with Sports & Youth Affairs Department, Government of Sindh.
  • LRF has developed ROBs on District Legal Empowerment Committees (DLECs) and translated it in local languages in collaboration with Sindh Judicial Academy.
  • LRF has developed SOPs of Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO), 2000 for Police and Juvenile Institutions to enhance their capacity to deal with Juveniles as per JJSO in Sindh.

Capacity Building

  • 26 Judges were sensitized on Rules of District Legal Empowerment Committees (DLECs)
  • 18 judges were capacitated on JJSO and how to deals with Juveniles following SOPs
  • 120 Judges were capacitated on The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); and pro-women and children laws 
  • 56 Prosecutors were capacitated on pro-women and children laws
  • 12 Probation Officer were trained on UNCRC, children laws in Pakistan, JJSO and SOPs and how to develop social investigation report for children conflict with the law. 
  •  126 women police officers were trained on pro women laws, registration of FIR and investigations focusing in sexual harassment cases.
  • 118 Prison Police officer were capacitated on Prison Law, Rules, DLECs, UN Nelson Mandalas Rules for the treatment of prisoners 
  • 5676 lawyers were capacitated on criminal laws, law of evidence, DLCEs, Pro women Laws,
  • Capacity building of 126 youth peace ambassadors.

Research

  • Provision of Semi Formal Justice Mechanism in Sindh Local Government Act, 2013 and other related Legal Frameworks
  • Analysis of Fair Trial and Due Process of Law for the Under-Trial Juvenile Prisoners as per the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000.
  • Development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Police and other Juvenile Justice Stakeholders to Deal with Juvenile as per Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO), 2000 – for
  • Critical Analysis of the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act – 2013– for Rutgers via HANDS.
  • Tax Justice Manual and Training of Trainers
  • Women Legal Empowerment Training Manual and Training of Trainers