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The process of democratizing any government is highly dependent on the quality of the justice system. None of internationally recognized principles of democracy such as rule of law, human rights and peace and security will be attained without well-functioning of judicial sectors. So as to make the judiciary well-functioning it needs to have quality professionals who have laudable knowledge, skill, attitude and professional ethics. However like many other developing countries there have been lots of deficiencies regarding knowledge, ethics and attitude of judges and prosecutors here in Ethiopia. So as to encounter with this problem the country has launched and implemented comprehensive justice reform programs during the late 1990s. Establishing judicial training centers both in the federal and regional governments was taken as a basic milestone to the reform. Accordingly, the Amhara region justice professionals training and research institute was established by the regional government in October 6 of 2010. The main objective for the establishment of the institute constitutes producing quality judiciary through well-organized training accompanied by scientific legal researches.

The institute basically offers two kinds of training services. One is pre-service training in which new law graduates are selected and trained on varies knowledge, skill, attitude and ethics based subjects and get prepared for judgeship or prosecutor. So far the institute trained about 3000 newly appointed judges and public prosecutors. The other one is in-service training which has been given to judges, prosecutors, police officers, consulate lawyers and other professionals on various legal and ethical issues. The training is a short term (3-6 days) and aimed at updating professionals with new laws, regulation, practices, policies and socio-economic dynamics of the society. The institute is delivering short term in-service training for 2000 legal professionals per year.

The other main responsibly of the institute is to undertake legal researches on problems challenging the prompt delivery of quality justice. So as to improve the accessibility, efficiency and effectiveness of the justice system, having identified its critical problems and carried out activities likely to assist dry-up as of their origin are the basic pillars of the research team. Accordingly the institute has done about 50 legal researches. Besides the institute has been publishing various articles collected from known practitioners and academician on law journal named FITIH METSHET. So far we have published 6 volumes and disseminated to readers. The journal is serving as a forum of exchanging ideas and experiences among professionals.

Despite all the above mentioned accomplishment, the institute is going through various challenges which hinder its performance. Generally the organizational structure does not allow to access quality trainers and researchers. The accommodation and infrastructure is not confortable for trainees as well. Thus the institute with concerning stake holders is working day and night to make the whole training environment working to all staff members, trainees and customers.

Saba Abere


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