Background of the Rule of Law Section
Established in 2004 as a small unit to advise on a range of rule of law issues, the Rule of Law Section has since expanded to support wider security sector reform in the DRC, including civilian and military justice.
Security Council Resolution 1925
Mandated by the UN Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1925 to support the DRC Government in strengthening the capacity of the judicial institutions, including the military justice system, MONUSCO has developed a range of activities in the Rule of Law sector.
Among others, pursuant to SCR 1925, MONUSCO supports the efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure the protection of civilians from violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses, including all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, to promote and protect human rights and to fight impunity. In doing so, a key element of MONUSCO’s Rule of Law Section is to support national and international efforts to bring perpetrators to justice, including by establishing Prosecution Support Cells to assist the FARDC military justice authorities in prosecuting persons arrested by the FARDC;
- To support civilian and military justice systems to be more effective in delivering justice. An effective justice system inspires confidence in the public and contributes to security and political stability;
- To support the justice system by providing immediate assistance to enable existing DRC capacity to be fully maximized;
- To assist the DRC authorities in designing mid-term coordinated strategic plans to reform justice sub-sectors, such as legislation, military justice and courts;
- To facilitate short-term implementation of urgent elements of longer-term reform strategy, including building capacity to investigate and try cases involving international crimes.
Prosecution Support Cells (PSCs)
In line with MONUSCO mandate, a core activity of the Rule of Law Section is the establishment of five Prosecution Support Cells (PSCs) in each of the eastern provinces of DRC (North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema, Katanga and Ituri). The PSCs aim at providing support and assistance to FARDC military justice authorities and civilian justice personnel in the investigation and prosecution of most serious crimes committed by members of armed groups. This support intends to reinforce military and civilian criminal investigation and prosecution capacity to combat impunity, promote respect for human rights and deter corruption in the eastern part of DRC where a significant portion of such crimes is committed.