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The Justice Zone is an area where local justice sector agencies such as the police, the prosecutors, judges, public attorneys, and managers of detentions facilities, identify problems and arrive at common solutions to address them. Through an agreed structure, and through two-way communication with the JSCC, piloting of new activities take place within the Justice Zone. During the work planning of the Angeles City Justice Zone, the members have proposed to improve institutional case management by strengthening communication, coordination, and cooperation within and among criminal justice sector agencies, to enhance the capacity of criminal justice sector agencies through improved human resources, facilities and equipment, and to improve jail conditions, through among others, the paralegal program of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. Collectively, they have committed to move forward with reforms with the theme Abe-abe ban matibe (stronger together).
Angeles City is the fourth Justice Zone under the JSCC supported by the European Union. It has been selected because it has already pioneered justice sector reforms in the region. It is home to pilot projects such as eCourt, automated hearing, eSubpoena and e-Notice and is the site of a model Hall of Justice.
The first justice zone was launched in Quezon City in 2014 and continues to be an effective mechanism among justice sector agencies in the area. The European Union likewise supported the establishment of the Cebu City Justice Zone in 2018 and Davao City in March 2019 through the Governance in Justice (GOJUST) Programme. “The European Union remains committed to the Philippine Development Plan by supporting the Justice Sector Coordinating Council at the national level and the Justice Zone at the local level”, said EU Ambassador Franz Jessen. “This initiative has been made possible under the collective leadership of Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra and DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año. We are confident that this event will spur similar efforts in other parts of the country on local justice coordination. “
EU Ambassador Jessen was joined by Austrian Ambassador Bita Rasoulian, Belgian Ambassador Michel Goffin, Hungarian Ambassador József Bencze, Netherlands Ambassador Elizabeth De Lang, and Spanish Ambassador Jorge Moragas.
The establishment of the new Justice Zone is supported by the GOJUST programme, a three-and-a-half-year justice sector support programme, funded by the EU, which supports the JSCC at the national level and the roll out of the Justice Zone concept at the local level as an important mechanism for sustainable and long-term reforms. GOJUST also works in the area of decongesting the dockets of the courts and the prosecution service, capacity building in financial and administrative management for justice sector agencies, and the automation of various services for case management and expedited hearings.
For more information, visit www.gojust.org
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