KARACHI: Federal human rights secretary Rabiya Javeri-Agha has underlined the importance of coordination between the judiciary, executive and civil society for promoting human rights in the country.

“Partnerships between judiciary, executive and civil society are instrumental for pushing the agenda of promoting human rights in the country,” she told a batch of 30 trial court judges gathered for a three-day training on human rights, gender and law at the Sindh Judicial Academy (SJA) here on Sunday.

The training marks the second batch of 30 trial court judges, which included six female judges, that were trained by the human rights ministry and the EU-funded Huqooq-e-Pakistan training and capacity building programme for federal and provincial human rights institutions.

Addressing trial court judges, SJA director general retired Justice Arif Khilji said: “Trial court judges have a constitutional duty to ensure the protection of all fundamental rights for effective administration of justice.”

The human rights ministry and SJA signed a memorandum of understanding on April 26 to collaborate for strengthening the capacity of the sessions judges in Sindh.

Partnering with experts from the Legal Aid Society, Karachi, the training intervention of the Huqooq-e-Pakistan programme aims to acquaint and train judges and prosecution departments in laws pertaining to human rights and its application in the criminal justice system.

“It is an excellent and much-needed initiative to work with judges in understanding how national and international human rights law is relevant and applicable in the day-to-day work of judges in trial courts,” said Maliha Zia, the associate director of the Legal Aid Society.

With the first batch of judges successfully trained in September, the programme aims to sensitise and train stakeholders across the criminal justice system from all provinces on human rights standards and safeguards.

The SJA also aims to integrate the learning from the training and capacity building interventions into all its future training sessions for the junior and senior judges of Sindh.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019