Our Work

A police officer and students in a classroom in Maucatar, in remote south-western Timor-Leste, after an outreach session on domestic violence. Photo: Justice System Programme/UNDP TL
A police officer and students in Maucatar, in remote south-western Timor-Leste, after an outreach session on domestic violence. Photo: Justice System Programme/UNDP TL

Legal Training Centre
The Legal Training Centre (LTC) was established in 2004 with UNDP support. The JSP has helped the LTC develop a long-term training programme, including a flagship two-and-a-half-year course which qualifies law graduates to work as judges, prosecutors and public defenders. To date, 51 judges, prosecutors and public defenders, including 13 women, have graduated from this course. (Lee versaun Tetum iha ne'e)

Access to justice
Helping citizens understand their rights and making sure they know to access those rights is a vital component of access to justice. UNDP has helped justice institutions to run legal outreach sessions on the justice system and key legal issues. A mobile justice initiative is also bringing the formal justice system closer to rural citizens and communities. Strengthening Timor-Leste’s national legal framework is another important element of access to justice. JSP-funded advisors continue to support the Ministry of Justice in preparing draft laws including the new Civil Code, the Land Law and the Law on Legal Aid.

Technology for justice
At independence in 2002, Timor-Leste had a dearth of qualified IT professionals. The JSP has helped fill this gap by establishing IT units in the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and other national institutions. The JSP’s IT team trains justice sector staff and provides IT solutions across the justice sector. In Dili and in the districts, a new Integrated Information Management System (IIMS) being rolled out with UNDP and AusAID support is aiding the efficient administration of justice.

Decentralising justice services
With JSP support, international judges, prosecutors, public defenders and court clerks have been recruited to serve in the four judicial districts of Dili, Baucau, Oecusse and Suai. Within district jurisdictions, it is still difficult for some people to access local justice services because of poor roads and limited transport. Through its three district offices, the JSP is helping district justice institutions to help them deliver better services within their areas. The JSP also supports mobile justice sessions and outreach sessions outside the capital Dili.

Capacity development of justice sector staff
Timor-Leste inherited an almost complete human resources vacuum in the justice sector. To fill this vacuum, the JSP has recruited international judges to both advise and mentor Timorese judges and hear cases in Dili and district courts. Lecturers for the Legal Training Centre, public prosecutors, advisors to the courts, the MoJ, public defenders and advisors to the PDO have also been recruited. With more qualified Timorese professionals now working in the sector, the number of international advisors is being reduced and international advisors are focusing on mentoring and on-the-job training for their Timorese counterparts.

Improving prison and parole services
Since 2008, the JSP has been working with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ)’s National Prisons and Parole Directorate to improve security and prison facilities, and to ensure that the treatment of prisoners meets international human rights standards. Since 2011, UNDP-supported prison advisors have helped to draft a strategic plan for parole services, a law on the implementation of criminal sentences and prepared standard operating procedures (SOPS). The JSP has also helped improve prison security and facilities.