HARGEISA- 03 Nov 2016- Somaliland formally inaugurated a new court complex for the Marodijeh region on Thursday as part of the judiciary’s drive to increase access to the legal system to country’s 3.5 million people.

“The opening of this complex demonstrates our determination to give all people across Somaliland proper access to the legal system and help to understand it and how to use it,” Chief Justice Adan H. Ali said.

The new complex, originally built by Britain in the 1950s, includes new courtrooms, holding cells and waiting areas as well as Information Centre so that the public can learn how to use the legal system.

“It will help people who do not know, especially women, how the courts work, how to get legal help, how to get legal advice. We want the people of Somaliland to understand their rights,” the Chief Justice told reporters.

The regional court also has a database management system funded by the United Kingdom’s FCO which allows officials to track, understand and map the kinds of cases which occur most often, and what the response of the judiciary should be.

“It’s a pilot system for now, but we hope to extend it across the country so we can understand what the challenges are that face the people and the legal system,” he said.

Katherine Robinson who spoke on the behalf of FCO congratulated the work well-done and promised that her government will keep supporting the Somaliland’s justice sector.

Somaliland’s justice system comprises legislation derived from Islamic Sharia law, customary law and formal law.

His Excellency Abdirahman Mohamed Saylici, the Somaliland vice president, cut the ribbon for the formal opening.

“I am very much inspired by the judiciary reforms made under the leadership of Prof. Adam Haji. I hope these efforts will be sustained and serve better for the public in the long-run,” he said.

The event was also attended by the Minister of Justice, State Minister of Presidency, Deputy Minister of Planning and the Police Commissioner.

Abdikadir Askar,

Communications Lead

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