In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the justice sector institutions lack the capacity and independence to advance its own reform and provide quality, fair, and equitable services to all Congolese. The judiciary has a limited reach in the country. It is deprived of the resources needed to fulfill its mandate thus undermining the role of the state in ensuring equal access to justice for all Congolese citizens and exacerbating petty corruption within the system. Furthermore, political interference puts at risk the independence of the judiciary and citizens’ right to a fair trial. Across the country, poverty, lack of adequate judicial resources, and widespread corruption prevent Congolese from seeking justice, further marginalizing youth and women.
The lack of an independent judiciary is caused by and enables corruption and it supports inequitable justice across the country. It is therefore considered as the overarching issue facing the justice system and the rule of law in the DRC. This corruption and resulting lack of public trust affects the internal governance of the judiciary and the ability of the country to mobilize its resources for its own development.
Theory of Change
The following is the proposed theory of change:
IF judicial institutions increase internal transparency, accountability, and integrity and improve their capacity and commitment to fight corruption; and civil society is empowered to monitor, influence, and support the justice system to prevent and fight corruption, and the justice system increases equal and equitable access to justice for all through more sustainable mechanisms.
THEN, judicial independence and public trust in the judiciary will increase, allowing the judiciary to deliver justice to the people of the DRC effectively.
The goal of the initiative is to strengthen the institutional independence of the judiciary and that of individual judges to advance the justice system’s efforts to fight corruption and promote equal and equitable access to justice in the DRC to improve public perception and trust of the judiciary ultimately.
- Increased transparency, accountability, and integrity in the justice system to promote equal and equitable justice and support the DRC’s anti-corruption efforts
- Empowered civil society to demand GDRC commitment to judicial independence and contribute to judicial reform
- Increased equal and equitable access to justice for all