The January 12th earthquake in Haiti shook the justice system. Prior to the earthquake, Haiti had been making steady progress towards improving access to justice.

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Summary

  • The January 12th earthquake in Haiti shook the justice system.
  • Prior to the earthquake, Haiti had been making steady progress towards improving access to justice.
  • After the initial panic of the earthquake, efforts began to resume the operations of the justice system.
  • Reacting to the immediate situation on the ground, the Haitian government identified key priorities for the justice sector in the short term, including rebuilding court houses, prisons and police stations. Long-term priorities were also identified and are currently being integrated into a Justice Sector Strategy. A key point stressed by the government is that rule of law efforts are not starting from scratch but will build upon previous initiatives.
  • Haiti has some but not all the resources to rebuild the justice sector. The government welcomes international assistance. What is important from the international side is that donors and assistance providers coordinate with each other and the government of Haiti and deliver rule of law assistance in line with the strategy developed by the government.

About This Brief

USIP hosted an event on February 12, 2010 entitled “Haiti: Rule of Law After the Earthquake” at which René Magloire, the special adviser to the president of Haiti on legal affairs and in charge of legal reform (and two-time minister of Justice) spoke. This Peace Brief by Vivienne O’Connor, a senior rule of law adviser, summarizes and builds upon this event.

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