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Independent and Transparent Legal Systems are Essential to the Enjoyment of Human Rights
March 19, 2013

Item 8:  Annual Thematic Discussion on Technical Cooperation
“Promoting technical cooperation for the strengthening of the judiciary system and administration of justice in order to ensure human rights and rule of law”

Statement of the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Jan Levin

Human Rights Council 22nd Session

March 19, 2013

Thank you Mr. President.

The United States appreciates the Council’s focus today on best practices to promote the strengthening of judiciary systems and the administration of justice.  We believe that a strong, independent and transparent legal system is imperative to ensure human rights are enjoyed by all citizens of a society.

The United States has worked with many countries and societies over the years to develop programs to improve the rule of law.  The United States provides assistance to improve legal and regulatory frameworks, build human and institutional capacity within the justice sector, strengthen linkages between police, prosecutors and courts, create constituencies for legal reform, and increase access to justice.  From this work we have found one practice to be universally key to success – each program must be as unique as the society and people it is designed to assist.  Our most successful undertakings have been programs that take culture, existing practices, and availability of resources into consideration.  We do this by conducting surveys and assessments in order to gain understanding of how the justice sector in a particular country or region operates.  Moreover, we look to see what is working and try to understand why it is successful in order to determine if there are ways to replicate that success in other areas within the justice system.  We also look for obstacles or bottlenecks in the system and work with counterparts to design specific approaches that can be supported by the country’s human and financial resources, as well as its legal systems and traditions.

We commend those States actively working to improve the rule of law through strengthening of their judiciary systems and we stand ready to partner with them to achieve their goals.