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Project Fact Sheet for 00080609

Project / Programme Title
Strengthen Access to Justice
Brief Project Description
Justice, Rule of Law and Human Rights are fundamental prerequisites for social and economic development. A more effective and accessible Justice System contributes to reducing poverty levels and strengthening democratic governance. Strengthening Access to Justice requires an integrated approach that takes into consideration all the actors that play a role in the Justice System continuum. Rule of Law is the result of the coherent team work of Police, Prosecution Service, Courts, Corrections Services and, where they exist, independent Human Rights Commissions. Within the overall spectrum of stakeholders working in this sector, UNDP is uniquely positioned to support Access to Justice Services, with a focus on the poor and the disadvantaged categories of users, including women and persons living with HIV/AIDS. In the absence of Access to Justice for all citizens (irrespective of gender, race, religion, age, class or creed), basic rights can be violated with impunity; poor and marginalized citizens are deprived of opportunities; and their voice in decision making is not heard. In Mozambique UNDP has been a major player in the Justice, Human Rights and Security Sector Reform arena since 2000. Projects implemented in the last decade have produced visible results and have supported the introduction of a new philosophy leading to improved service delivery in the justice context. Such philosophy includes the one-stop-shop approach to service delivery embodied in the Palaces of Justice where all the Criminal Justice institutions are located in the same building. This allows for pursuing the goal of simplifying a criminal justice process that may be too complicated if offered in different geographical areas and distant buildings and therefore inaccessible to citizens in decentralized areas. By constructing and equipping Palaces of Justice at the District level, UNDP signaled its commitment to focus on disadvantaged groups and work with beneficiaries often marginalized by those aid-programs that work only at national level. The 2012-2015 UNDAF builds, in its section related to support to vulnerable groups, on lessons learned in the last decade by UNDP and 8 more UN agencies, setting common objectives and complementary tasks. To contribute to the joint goals of strengthening access to justice, security and human rights protection UNDP agreed with its UN partners to focus on 4 main priorities: 1) Supporting the process of introducing or strengthening innovative justice instruments (such as alternatives to imprisonment, existing Palaces of Justice and free legal aid); 2) Increasing the awareness of vulnerable groups on human rights and justice services; 3) Supporting the establishment of the National Commission on Human Rights; and 4) Supporting the establishment of a National Crime Observatory. While providing support across the entire spectrum of the Justice System continuum (from Police to Corrections) a decision was made to choose specific and realistically achievable outputs for each of the aforementioned priority areas. In pursuing such outputs, specific attention will be given, whenever possible, to produce results at the decentralized level by working in selected districts. The Ministry of Justice of Mozambique has placed the introduction of Alternative Measures to Imprisonment, a systemic change that rethinks the whole concept of “punishment”, among the main priorities of Justice Sector Reform. Comparative experiences of countries that have been using this innovative instrument prove that the use of alternatives to imprisonment reduces victimization, helps in addressing the problem of prison overcrowding, and avoids placing the unjust burden on the families of the offenders often linked to imprisonment. Non-custodial sentences reduce the costs of justice while building safer communities. In 2010 and 2011 UNDP worked with the Government on drafting the norms that will introduce this mechanism and that are expected to enter into force in the second half of 2012. Having been in the front row of this process from the beginning, UNDP is expected to support through this project the operationalization of the new department for execution of the alternative measures. The project will also provide training for Judges, Prosecutors and defense attorneys and inform communities. The introduction in the past 4 years of the concept of the Palaces of Justice, at decentralized level, is producing visible results in those districts in which they are operational. In Moma, Morrumbene and Cheringoma districts, Judges, Prosecutors, officials of the Criminal Police and IPAJ can now operate in an environment that offers them the dignity and the tools necessary to administer justice in their local community. Citizens of these districts can now interface with Justice Institutions through a one-stop-shop, Balcão-único, a service that can guide them through the complicated justice process, introduce them to the different actors of the proceedings and follow their case until it is finalized. Monitoring and evaluation visits conducted to the Palaces of Justice during the implementation of the previous justice project indicated, along with the good results achieved, an enormous potential for this instrument to penetrate further in the local communities that they serve. This project intends to build on the foundations placed by the previous project and invest in the opportunities created by the innovative concept. Emphasis will be given to promoting interaction between the Palaces of Justice and the Community Courts and to supporting the use of mobile courts were the officials of the Palace of Justice can travel periodically to more remote areas of the districts and hold criminal proceedings outside their offices. In February 2011 Mozambique’s Human Rights record was reviewed as part of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council. The agreed 161 recommendations that stemmed from this process overlap to a great extent with the objectives set in the National Human Rights Action Plan, a reference document for the entire Government finalized in August with the help of UNDP. Supporting the implementation of these two reference frameworks is a common goal for all those agencies which contribute to the UNDAF chapter dedicated to enhancing respect for human rights. While pursuing this general goal UNDP intends to give specific attention to supporting the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution. The adoption of Law nº 33/2009 of 22 December 2009, introduced in the legal system of Mozambique the Comissão Nacional dos Direitos Humanos (CNDH), an Institution with the mandate to: 1) promote and protect Human Rights in Mozambique 2) be the leading agency in conducting Human Rights awareness campaigns 3) cooperate with the competent authorities to promote respect of Human Rights and 4) interact with citizens by collecting their complaints and investigating them. As cornerstones of national human rights protection mechanisms, Human Rights Commissions and similar institutions must obtain their official international recognition through accreditation by the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC) working under the auspices of the OHCHR. To receive the accreditation, the CNDH will have to be assessed as being in compliance with an agreed set of norms commonly referred to as the Paris Principles. With the entering into force of the Law in April 2010, the Ministry of Justice was mandated to establish the Commission and has requested UNDP’s and OHCHR’s assistance to do that. This project, in coordination with the initiatives being studied by the OHCHR will support the Ministry of Justice in implementing its mandate and then partner with the Commission itself, as an independent body, to ensure that it becomes operational and receives accreditation from the ICC. Article 62 of the Constitution of Mozambique guarantees the right to free legal aid to all citizens otherwise unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system. The IPAJ, the institution mandated to provide free legal aid to vulnerable groups is currently present in 111 out of 128 districts but due to very limited human and financial resources its outreach throughout the country is still limited and uneven (for example only five staff members operate in the Zambezia Province). UNDP has been involved since 2007, in supporting country’s efforts to make legal counselling available, especially in rural areas where these services are most needed. In the timeframe between 2007-2009 a UNDP project supported IPAJ, Universities and Legal Clinics for the provision of free legal assistance with over 3500 cases having been addressed. . In the next cycle, this project will support the IPAJ in further expanding its outreach,it will train its officials and it will raise citizen’s awareness of the services provided by this institution. In 2005 the Technical Implementation Unit of the Police Strategic Plan (UTIPE) carried out a study on data related to criminal activities in Mozambique and noted, among other things, a worrying lack of an integrated system of information gathering and analysis of this data. Increasing trends of illegal immigration, smuggling of drugs, trafficking of human beings and sea piracy call for an enhanced synergy between the different actors of the Criminal Justice System. Constant sharing of information between Police, Prosecutors and the Ministry of Justice is a prerequisite to successfully fighting Organised Crime and so is the interaction of these institutions with the academic world and the media. Taking the lead in trying to address this gap the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) included in its strategic plan (approved by the Council of Ministers in 2004) the creation of a National Crime Observatory which as a scientific inter-sectors institution, under the guidance of recognized academics with proven experience in the scientific research area, is expected to make diagnoses, evaluate the situation, and conduct studies to produce recommendations on the criminal sector. To improve transparency in its periodic and annual reports, the legal status of the Observatory should follow international standards of independence from the data generating agencies. International best practices confirm that functional and small size National Crime Observatories, working as autonomous forums with representatives of Ministries of Interior, Justice, Finance, Health, and Education, other State institutions working in the crime areas such as the Court, Prosecutor Office, media and civil society, have proved a successful instrument in many countries around the world. Using a multi disciplinary approach these observatories can become a precious tool in developing crime-repression and crime-prevention policies. In 2011 UNDP has supported the Ministry of Interior in placing the foundation of this interagency tool and, with this project, intends to continue to support its full establishment.
Donor Agency / UN Agency
Government Counterparts

Project Information

Project Status
Mozambican Project Number
Fonte de Recurso
Actual Start - End
2012-01-01 / 2017-06-30
Planned Start - End
2012-12-01 / 2015-12-31
Date of Signature of MoU/Contract
National / Regional
Type of Implementation
Project Contact Person
Habiba Rodolfo | +258 21 481 402 | 
Project Internet Link

Funding Information

Aid Modality
Investment Projects
Type of Funding
On/Off Budget
Off Budget
On/Off Treasury
Off Treasury
Funding Totals
418,000,000 EUR
418,000,000 EUR
Historic Funding
Funding 2012
396,000,000 EUR
Disbursements 1st Quarter
Disbursements 2nd Quarter
Disbursements 3rd Quarter
Disbursements 4th Quarter
Funding Forecast 2012
396,000,000 EUR
Funding Forecast 2013
456,000,000 EUR


Channel of Delivery
  • Ministry of Justice
15100 Government And Civil Society, General
15130 Legal and judicial development
  • Gender
  • HIV/AIDS and Malaria
  • Global Partnership
Focal Regions
Cidade de Maputo
  • All districts
  • Massinga (16.0%)
  • Morrumbene (16.0%)
  • Moma (16.0%)
  • Ribaue (16.0%)
  • Cheringoma (16.0%)