Making a Difference // Conference

By Santy Kouwagam

On 14 February 2018, the Ministry of Justice and Security of the Netherlands held a conference focusing on capacity building activities in the justice and security sector, in particular from the perspective of the beneficiary countries. During the day, participants shared their insights and experiences on what makes successful cooperation projects in this sector and the advantages of having contributions from the Dutch government, NGOs and experts.

The Minister of Justice and Security Ferd Grapperhaus opened the conference  and launched the capacity building projects database. This online database is a global map indicating all capacity building projects being supported by the Ministry.

The Foreign Minister of Albania, Mr. Ditmir Bushati, then provided his key note speech by sharing his experiences in working with the Dutch in improving rule of law in Albanian society. According to the Minister, this collaboration has contributed to Albania’s better ranking in the Rule of Law Index 2017. After the plenary sessions, the participants could choose from six different workshops convened by CILC,  TMC Asser Institute, Netherlands Helsinki Committee and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, amongst others.

Professor Surya Jaya of the Supreme Court of Indonesia (Mahkamah Agung) contributed to the workshop convened by CILC under their Judicial Sector Support Programme (JSSP). In his speech, he shared his experiences in working with the chamber system which has recently being developed by the Mahkamah Agung after learning from the Dutch Supreme Court (Hoge Raad). Professor Surya was in full support of the cooperation, as the changes implemented under the cooperation between two courts have really had a positive impact for the Mahkamah Agung to be more efficient and consistent in adjudicating cases. He was also very positive about the new simplified template of decisions which will be implemented by the Mahkamah Agung. The template is the result of the cooperation project as well.

Mahkamah Agung pleaded that the cooperation project should be continued until it is in fully functioning capacity, so the goal to achieve legal certainty, and for Mahkamah Agung to build trust and authority in society through the reforms could be completed. “There are a couple of important tasks left. If the project is stopped, all the efforts so far would be lost”, he said.

President of the Hoge Raad, Professor Feteris,  conveyed a similar message, emphasizing that cooperation with Mahkamah Agung has been long standing, and is now reaching its production stage after a long-term period of building  trust between the two institutions. The cooperation is special since Netherlands and Indonesia shares a common legal system.

In concluding, all participants agreed that  cooperation with the Dutch are successful when they provide a peer-to-peer approach and avoiding imposing methods and approaches to the recipient country. Instead, dialogues and the capacity to listen have yielded good results for sustainable development in the field of security and justice.

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