KATHMANDU, July 11: The Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs on Tuesday signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Norwegian government “for enhancing access to justice for women, poor and vulnerable groups in Nepal.”
The agreement comes some three weeks after the apex court turned down a financial support of Rs 460 million offered by the UNDP. On Monday, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu and UNDP Country Director Renaud Meyer signed the agreement with the ministry’s Secretary Rajib Gautam in presence of Law Minister Sher Bahadur Tamang.
The Norwegian government will contribute $3.6 million and UNDP $1 million to the three-year project.
The project aims at assisting the ministry to make needed reforms in the legal aid regime, free legal aid services to the poor and vulnerable people across the country. It is said that the project will provide scholarships, internships and other professional opportunities to law students coming from these groups to promote the participation of women and vulnerable groups in the justice system.
At the function, Law Minister Tamang said the project was launched with a plan to make a number of targeted interventions, from building capacity of the judicial committees at the local governments to making needful reforms in the existing laws to ensure that the poor and the vulnerable have access to justice. “This project aligns itself with one of the major priorities of this government – that is to improve the access to justice,” said Minister Tamang.