The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded the Increased Responsiveness in the Legal System Project (IRLSP) to Development Professionals Inc. (DPI). DPI is a small women-owned business located in the Washington DC area that implements rule of law reforms in developing countries by applying a holistic approach that empowers citizens. The IRLSP is a 30 month project to be implemented from November 2012 to May 2015.
The IRLSP is designed to assist the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL), the Judicial Services Commission and the judiciary to improve the management and the efficacy of the legal system and improve access to justice for Sri Lankan citizens. The project will support the institutional capacity development of the Ministry of Justice, the Judges Training Institute and the Legal Aid Commission. The GSL’s commitment to investing and improve the Sri Lankan justice system is the basis for USAID funding though the IRLSP. USAID will support the GSL to implement programs that build the capacity of Sri Lanka partners and enable them to improve their capacity to deliver higher quality services, strengthen the technical knowledge of judges and non-judicial officer, and improve access to justice for communities. These activities will serve to build public confidence in the justice system and improve the administration of justice in Sri Lanka.
The IRLSP will support the institutional capacity development of the Ministry of Justice, the Judges Training Institute and the Legal Aid Commission with three components designed to:
- Component 1: Improve the capacity of the target institutions in the legal system to higher quality services
- Component 2: Strengthen the technical knowledge of judges and non-judicial officers
- Component 3: Improve access to justice for communities in lagging regions
IRLSP will build long-term capacity of partner institutions and increase their ability to deliver new tools and skills that will improve competencies within the Sri Lankan legal system. Ultimately the IRLSP interventions should benefit citizens, litigants, witnesses, victims of crimes and the Sri Lankan society as a whole.