Nepal: senior UN official lauds Supreme Court reforms

19 May 2009

The top United Nations human rights official in Nepal today welcomed Supreme Court reforms initiated by the fledgling democracy’s newly appointed Chief Justice.

Among the measures aimed at enhancing transparency in its system of jurisprudence, Chief Justice Bahadur Rayamajhi has established a Court Decisions Enforcement Directorate.

A telephone hotline for people to register complaints about irregularities within the judicial system has also been set up along with the installation of CCTV in the Supreme Court.

Recognizing the critical role the Supreme Court plays in protecting human rights and the rule of law, Richard Bennett, Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal), applauded the Chief Justice’s reforms when the two met today.

Mr. Bennett used the occasion to confirm OHCHR’s support for the independence of the judiciary, as well as to discuss upcoming joint ventures, including seminars for judicial officers on human rights organized in collaboration with the National Judicial Academy.

In a report released last month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that progress has been made in Nepal’s peace process, including steps towards drafting a new constitution, but warned that differences among key political parties continues to impede the consolidation of peace.

A decade-long civil war, claiming some 13,000 lives, ended in 2006 with the signing of a peace accord between the Government and Maoists. After conducting Constituent Assembly elections in May 2008, the nation abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and declared itself a republic.


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