Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions
In March 2000, the Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi was requested by the UN Secretary-General to chair a high-level panel to undertake a thorough review of the United Nations peace operations. The report of the panel, the so called Brahimi Report presented a number of recommendations. One of these recommendations was to have an integrated, holistic approach to the rule of law.
In 2007, the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) was established by Resolution A/RES/61/279 to provide this holistic approach to re-establishing systems of justice and reinforce security, through disarmament, demobilization and the reintegration of ex-combatants and through helping to deal with mine fields and unexploded ordinance that remain following armed struggles.
OROLSI at the UN Headquarters brings together the Police Division, the Criminal Law and Judicial Advisory Service (CLJAS), the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Section (DDR) and the Security Sector Reform Unit. The overarching goal of this Office is to support the work of UN missions to help national authorities consolidate lasting peace by establishing justice and security systems. In countries where United Nations peacekeeping operations are deployed, the United Nations Secretary-General designated DPKO as the primary United Nations counterpart with national authorities.
The Criminal Law and Judicial Advisory Service (CLJAS), created in 2003, became a part of the DPKO Office in 2007. The Service is responsible to support the implementation of rule of law, justice and corrections mandates of United Nations peace operations managed by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
The Service is structured into three units:
- The CLJAS Justice Team advises and supports missions on substantive and operational matters; engages in planning for new and evolving missions; participates in relevant DPKO and interagency coordination groups and meetings; ensures that relevant Security Council resolutions, Secretary-General’s reports and other United Nations official documents reflect the activities, challenges and needs of Justice Components; assists missions in mobilizing resources for their projects and programmes and keeps mission personnel apprised of significant developments at United Nations Headquarters.
- The CLJAS Corrections Team advises and supports missions on substantive and operational matters and develops policy, guidance and training materials on correction matters.
- The CLJAS Policy Cell is responsible for undertaking and coordinating the Service’s policy, guidance and training efforts. It also represents DPKO on matters related to rule of law, human rights and good governance.
A policy released in 2009 defined the objectives, principles, functions and areas of intervention of justice components of United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions.
Justice components may be engaged in the following substantive areas:
1. Immediate effectiveness of criminal justice system
2. Basic justice infrastructure
3. Legal framework
4. Law schools
5. Professional training
6. Judicial independence
7. Integrity, professionalism, accountability and transparency of justice actors
8. Public administration
9. Court administration and management
10. Access to justice and victims’ rights
11. Gender justice
12. Justice for children
13. Civil (non-criminal) and administrative law matters
14. Customary/traditional justice mechanisms.