Integrity Watch Afghanistan met with Chief Justice to explore the creation of a cooperation mechanism where Integrity Watch could bolster its contribution to the transparency and accountability of the courts and judges. The meeting took place on November 29, 2017, at the presence of Chief Justice Sayed Yusuf Haleem, Aman Iman, Spokesperson of the Supreme Court, Sayed Ikram Afzali, Executive Director and Naser Timory, Head of Advocacy and Communications of Integrity Watch Afghanistan.
Sayed Ikram Afzali, Integrity Watch’s Executive Director, thanked the Chief Judge and outlined the Integrity Watch’s community monitoring of open trials, research and advocacy in the justice sector in the last decade. The Chief Justice, Sayed Yusuf Haleem, appreciated the efforts by Integrity Watch and stated that “Integrity Watch has proved to be one of the credible organization with a national agenda” and welcomed the contribution it is making in bringing transparency and accountability in the justice sector. “The presence of Integrity Watch at the High Council on Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption that is presided by the President signifies the trust of the National Unity Government in your organization,” he further added.
Chief Justice stated that the door of the Supreme Court is open to public and civil society. He pointed that a special committee has been formed within the Supreme Court to propose promotions and transfers and the committee has worked with full integrity. Nevertheless, “there are issues that are identified by civil society organizations that may not come under our notice otherwise,” he stated. Sharing such information would assist the Supreme Court in bringing the much-needed reform and would provide the “oversight to the work of our staff and judges,” he added.
In order to reflect the views of the Supreme Court, Mr. Afzali proposed that Integrity Watch is ready to share its draft research for comments. He further requested the participation of Supreme Court in the discussions organized by Integrity Watch to create a national discourse on justice sector reform. The Chief Justice agreed to introduce a focal point for communicating with the civil society and committed to ensure participation of courts in any public discourse to reform the justice sector.