Guinea-Bissau: Pursue the construction of an independent justice system that is of use to the population


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During the past four decades, the country has experienced time and again the settling of scores among political and military elites. Justice has rarely, if ever, been rendered to victims, promoting revenge and feeding the cycle of violence. In everyday life, the absence of formal justice mechanisms favours individual settlements or even conflict resolution methods implemented by traditional authorities that have remained highly influential and respected. An ambitious new Justice Reform Programme (2015–2019) has been prepared but has been blocked by the political crisis and differences between the government (Ministry of Justice) and the judicial power (Supreme Court of Justice). It is crucial to create consensus on the implementation of this essential reform.

The Guinea-Bissau reform series

Policy Brief 1: Provide Guinea-Bissau with a new constitution to strengthen the rule of law and stability

Policy Brief 2: Guinea-Bissau: Reform electoral laws

Policy Brief 3: Guinea-Bissau: Review the Framework Law on Political Parties

Policy Brief 4: Guinea-Bissau: Pursue the construction of an independent justice system that is of use to the population

Policy Brief 5: Relaunching defence and security sector reforms in Guinea-Bissau

Policy Brief 6: Which institutional reforms for Guinea-Bissau?


About the authors

The United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) was established in 2009 by Security Council resolution 1876, of 26 June 2009. The current mandate of UNOGBIS, as specified in resolution 2404 of 28 February 2018, focus on the following priorities: i) supporting the implementation of the Conakry Agreement and facilitating an inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation process; ii) supporting, through good offices, the electoral process to ensure inclusive, free and credible legislative elections in 2018; and iii) supporting national authorities in expediting and complementing the review of the Constitution. The Mission is also mandated to assist, coordinate and lead international efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and enhance the capacity of state organs, promote and protect human rights, support the combat against drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, mainstream gender in peacebuilding efforts, and mobilize, harmonize and coordinate international assistance with view to upcoming elections.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) builds partnerships to deepen knowledge and skills to ensure a better future for the African continent. The goal of the ISS is to improve human security in order to achieve lasting peace and prosperity. A non-profit African organisation, the ISS has offices in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Senegal. The Dakar office oversees, in addition to its staff, teams based in Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. The work of the organisation focuses on issues related to transnational crime, migration, conflict analysis, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, crime prevention, criminal justice, and governance. The ISS mobilises its expertise, networks and influence to provide timely and credible analysis, hands-on training and technical assistance to governments and civil society. ISS actions promote the development of better policies and practices to enable policymakers to address the human security challenges facing Africa.

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