The Civil Society Initiative to Promote the Rule of Law (CSI.ROL) project was awarded under the ROL IQC to the joint venture between DPI and Millennium Partners, known as MDPI. The project worked with the civil society to promote better rule of law. Assistance was structured around the following components:
Component 1: Institutional Capacity Building
Under this component, MDPI facilitated a partnership between a US State Bar Association and the Sri Lankan Bar (BASL) to strengthen their institutional capacity. This relationship was supported with study tours and exchanges both to the US and to appropriate Asian countries.
Component 2: Improve the Sri Lanka Bar Association’s capacity to promote to deliver more transparent and higher quality justice
The project supported improved management and transparency in the justice sector by funding the BASL to develop a system to monitor and evaluate performance in the courts. This resulted in an annual report that provided a detailed insight into comprehensive caseload data and the financial and physical resources within the legal system.
Component 3: Strengthen the technical knowledge of judges, lawyers and non-judicial officers
This component supported the BASL to deliver specialized training programs for lawyers and judges that features prominent jurists and academics from Sri Lanka, and other common law jurisdictions, and international legal experts.
Component 4: The Sri Lanka Bar Association establishes partnerships to increase the efficacy of the legal system
Under this component, the project supported a national survey on the public perception of the legal system, improved the research and policy analysis capacity in the BASL, established a consultative process to develop a strategic plan to modernize the Sri Lankan legal system, and developed a case management system and procedural reforms to simplify civil and criminal procedure.
Component 5: Improve the access to legal services for marginalized communities
MDPI supported sub-grants for legal aid providers to increase public legal awareness and provide training for community-based paralegals.
Previous Work in Sri Lanka
In 2012, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded the Increased Responsiveness in the Legal System Project (IRLSP) to DPI. supported 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 was designed to build long-term capacity of partner institutions and increase their ability to deliver new tools and skills to improve competencies within the Sri Lankan legal system