The summary for the Strengthen Rule of Law grant is detailed below.
This summary states who is eligible for the grant, how much grant money will be awarded, current and past deadlines, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers, and a sampling of similar government grants.
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Strengthen Rule of Law: A. Program Areas: Strengthening the independence and effectiveness of the justice system and ensuring access for all Nepalese is a key factor in confronting threats to democratic principles in Nepal. The key challenge that the Nepalese justice system faces is to reform in order to inspire confidence by delivering independent, effective and ethical justice, administered by impartial and highly qualified professionals. B. Objectives: Strengthen justice sector institutions, promote alternative dispute resolution and improve access to justice by modernizing the Nepalese justice system and contribute to a transition to functional democracy and good governance in Nepal. 1. Objective One: Improve administration of justice in the courts by improving the capacity of court staff, prosecutors and judges who embrace modern court management reforms and deliver timely justice to the public to promote a transparent and independent judiciary. The Supreme Court has begun implementation of a court modernization and justice sector reform plan designed to overcome its institutional weaknesses. Under this program component, the Recipient must assist in implementing selected priority activities of the plan in close consultation with the Supreme Court. Applicants must propose activities that will result in a clear plan for justice sector reform which the Government of Nepal (GON) can support. Initiatives must also promote and produce a more professional and qualified corps of justice sector professionals (judges, prosecutors, public defense lawyers, administrators and a core group of reform oriented lawyers) who can perform their responsibilities better and faster, using improved administrative and procedural systems that reduce trial delays and case backlogs. Activities under this component must focus on technical and commodity assistance to the Supreme Court and selected lower courts to support the modernization of their administration, including case management systems, enforcement of judicial decisions, and respect for judicial ethics and discipline. These activities must be conducted in collaboration with the Judicial Council, Attorney General, national prosecutor offices, Nepal Bar Association and other respected justice sector organizations with selective support. Anticipated Illustrative Activities: . Training and technical assistance to the Supreme Court and selected lower court judges and their staff; . Facilitation/funding for use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to the Supreme Court; . Forums, dialogues and exchange of experts for key judicial stakeholders, civil society and media on justice sector reforms. 2. Objective Two: Promote alternative dispute resolution through court-referred mediation by consolidating and replicating efforts by the courts and the private sector. The Nepalese judiciary and private sector have recently initiated court-referred mediation and commercial mediation at the Supreme Court, Patan Appellate Court and at the FNCCI to promote alternative dispute resolution for speedy justice. The leadership at the Supreme Court strongly supports this effort and is committed to promoting a similar model at other courts as well. This initiative will contribute to reducing case backlogs and allowing the courts to focus more on constitutional and human rights-related cases. Therefore, this new initiative must be supported to institutionalize and augment intended results by providing continued assistance in capacity building to the mediators, judges and selected civil society groups. Additionally, the success of this effort will depend on public education and effective collaboration among the bench, bar and civil society groups. Applicants must provide detailed plans and activities to continue support for institutionalizing this initiative. Anticipated Illustrative Activities: . Training, technical assistance and grants for the courts and mediators society or for mediators for improved mediation on cases referred by the courts; . Support for public education on the benefits of mediation by providing forums for discussions, debates and information dissemination; . Support for networking of mediators within the region and beyond. 3. Objective Three: Increased access to justice for women, poor, disenfranchised and children by expanding the public defense system and institutionalizing legal aid. Alternative sources for legal services are necessary to ensure equity for the poor, women, disadvantaged and children within the justice system, as guaranteed by the Interim Constitution of Nepal and international conventions. The Nepalese judiciary has demonstrated a strong interest and commitment to implement a full-time professional public defense system to guarantee access to justice for everyone. Applicants must address how to formulate, institutionalize and pilot a Public Defense Organization and link privately-supported legal services for the poor into public and private service networks. Activities which will support ways to improve the quality of justice available to the women and poor must be included. The program initiatives must aim to increase access to justice, particularly for women who are victims of domestic violence and trafficking, the poor, the disadvantaged and children who are victims of conflict and human rights abuses by expanding the pool of public defenders and increasing protection provided to victims. Anticipated Illustrative Activities: . Technical assistance to the judiciary to institutionalize the public defense system; . Assist civil society groups for expanding their legal aid activities by providing grants or technical assistance; . Support lawyers and interested parties for public interest litigation to protect rights of the women, poor, children and disadvantaged.