To improve access to justice and the formal justice system in Afghanistan in general, a new EU program on justice sector reform began in December. It will improve the formal justice system that is marred by a lack of accountability and hampered by weak institutional capacity. The Afghan government pursues several reform programs within the justice sector which are linked to the anti-corruption efforts within the country's wider public administration.
Within the Afghan Attorney General's office, a number of initiatives are under way to improve on its efficiency. The EU has been involved in planning improvements to the prosecution services. The support couples technical assistance with financial support to civil society organisations and creates a system that rewards increased efficiency through setting incentives for reforms. The changes are centred on improving the Attorney General's human resource management through assessing the justice officials' performance reviews and improving on recruitment practices. Case mangament will be improved on within the prosecution and changes in legislation should be implemented more effectively. The prosecution's reform process will be monitored on a yearly basis, with the help of indicators as set by the Attorney General's Office and the EU jointly.
The EU will continue to review the implementation and outcome of the reforms and the aim is for a better working Afghan prosecutors' office already in the near term. These changes are of essence to establish the rule of law in the country, long plagued by weak institutional capacity resulting in the prevalence of an informal justice system that is at odds with provisions on Human Rights. The incentives' program spans over three years and totals €31 million; €24 million will be used to support the Attorney General's Office directly and €2,5 million will spent on technical assistance and other services. A further €4,5 million will be granted to civil society organisations to act as watchdogs towards the Attorney General's Office in that they assess the government's delivery of services and holds the prosecution accountable on efficiency standards.