A day long dialogue on Justice Review and Custom Harmonization in Oromia Region is under way at Ellili Hotel today 14 December 12, 2022 organized by the CDCB. The dialogue initiative is part of the project titled “Enhancing the Rule of Law and Human Rights Protection in Oromia National Regional State through Capacity Building and Advocacy Actions” which is funded by USAID Feteh (Justice) Activity.
The encounter has brought together professionals from the legal system who are on duty with the government structure on the one hand and custodians of the tradition – Abbaa Gadaa, Haadha Siinqee, and Jaarsolii (elders) on the other. In addition, there are media professionals, CSO representatives and resource persons with ample experience from the professional and customary perspectives.
From the justice side are Oromia Public Prosecutors, Judges from Oromia Supreme Court, and Legislators from Oromia. There are two consultants who facilitate the dialogue process from the justice and custom points of view. From the justice aspect the facilitator treats “Review of justice reform process and its human rights and rule of law elements”. The other facilitator deals with “Review of indigenous values and custom of the Oromo contributing to promotion of human rights and rule of law”.
The project goal is to contribute to the enhancement of the participation of media professionals, civil society organizations, justice sector and informal institutions in the Promotion of Human Rights, Rule of Law and peace building in the Oromia Region.
One of the aims of the dialogue is to harmonize endogenous values and norms at different levels with the current justice sector reform program to promote human rights. It helps creating an understanding on the Oromo values and customs to this end.
The customary part specifically aims at integrating/harmonizing traditional values and customs with the justice system in reform processes. It strives to set alternative means/approaches on how to integrate those values and customs in the justice system.
The question is devising the mechanism on how to integrate those values and customs in the formal justice system. The discussants of the dialogue have taken up this as the major issues on both the formal justice and custom of the people.