MATRA South - Administration of Justice

Over a period of three years (2012-2014), the Asser Institute organised a Training Course on ‘Administration of Justice’, as part of the MATRA South Programme, which has been developed by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign affairs to support sustainable democratic transition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The Training Course was designed and developed so as to contribute to the rule of law, transitional justice, as well as the protection of human rights in the Arab region (Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia). The aim was to advance and support the Dutch Government’s activities that stimulate and aid democratic transition, and to strengthen the judicial capacities of and improve the cooperation with senior civil servants, judges and public prosecutors in relevant areas.

The primary focus of the Training Course was to train the participants (a total of 70) in the organisational and policy-related ways and means to improve the administration of justice in their countries. Accordingly, the best practices from the Netherlands and the EU was central to the Course. The secondary objective was the creation of networks among the participants and between them and the (guest) lecturers, so as to stimulate the transfer of knowledge and practical expertise about the administration of justice.

The Programme integrated a theoretical component (lectures), development of practical skills and study visits. Participants were provided with a comprehensive oversight in fundamental principles pertaining to the rule of law and the administration of justice, the opportunity to meet with and confer with practitioners from judicial organizations (Dutch and international) and to reflect on the witnessed best practices on their home situation, for the improvement of the latter.

Between December 2012 and September 2014, the Asser Institute organised 3 Training Courses, each consisting of 2 components: (1) a Training in The Hague; and 2) a follow-up Workshop in the region:

  1. 2-12 December 2012 (The Hague) & 5-7 March 2013 (Tunis, Tunisia)
  2. 21-31 May 2013 (The Hague) & 23-25 September 2013 (Rabat, Morocco)
  3. 18-28 May 2014 (The Hague) & 7-9 September 2014 (Rabat, Morocco)

As of 2015, the Asser Institute continued to organise the Training Course for another period of four years (2015-2018). In 2016, Shiraka was launched by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a successor to the MATRA South Programme.