U.S. Government Bolsters Mozambican Justice Sector
February 27, 2023 – The U.S Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched a new program, the Justice Sector Technical Support Activity (JUSTA) which builds on 10 years of support for the rule of law in Mozambique. This program addresses the lack of access for judicial services and a lack of resources to prosecute and adjudicate wildlife crime, corruption, and human rights abuse cases in Northern Mozambique.
Emphasizing the United States’ commitment to localized assistance, this activity was co-designed by judges, lawyers, and trainers from the Supreme Court, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Matola-based Judicial Training Center and will be implemented with collaboration with these institutions.
Through a direct grant of $2.2 million, JUSTA will provide in-service training to an estimated 70 judges and 110 prosecutors to prosecute wildlife trafficking crimes, protect human rights, and combat corruption in the northern provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula, and Niassa. Given the challenges of access to justice in remote areas, JUSTA will support the use of mobile courts, enabling judges to reach citizens where they live and protect their rights. To enhance efficiency, JUSTA will help the Supreme Court and the Attorney General’s Office implement an automated case management tracking system. JUSTA will also support the fight against corruption by strengthening internal audit offices and judicial inspections.
At the launch ceremony on February 22nd, the Chief Justice of the Republic of Mozambique, Adelino Muchanga, noted “we want every Magistrate, each judicial officer and each judicial employee to be an agent of change, to be a defender of the rule of law… [and] we want to do our part and reiterate our commitment to protecting biodiversity, fighting corruption and protecting human rights and combating terrorism.”
At the same event, USAID Mission Director Helen Pataki emphasized commitment to the rule of law. “A strong justice sector is critical to improve the quality of life for all Mozambican citizens. JUSTA will work to improve coordination between justice sector institutions and promote a fair and efficient justice system. The United States stands with Mozambicans by strengthening public financial management, independent civil society and media, democratic processes and institutions, rule of law, and combating wildlife trafficking, ”she said.
Support for democracy, human rights, and governance is a critical component of the broader U.S. Government assistance in Mozambique. In close collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, the U.S. Government provides more than $700 million in annual assistance to improve the quality of education and healthcare, promote economic prosperity, and support the overall development of the nation.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises. For more information about USAID’s work, visit www.usaid.gov.