The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani chaired a meeting of the High Council of Rule of Law and Anti-corruption, Monday afternoon, Presidential Palace.
The Reform proposal for Government Cases Department and Legal Disputes Department within the Ministry of Justice was presented which got approved accordingly.
Issues that came under discussion in the meeting revolved around a reform proposal intended at improving the functioning of Government Cases Department and Legal Disputes Department in the Ministry of Justice, arrangement of a national conference for the Ulema (religious scholars) with the theme of combatting corruption and a report on the progress and activities of the secretariat of the High Council of Rule of Law and Anti-corruption.
Second Vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danish presented the reform proposal for the Government Cases Department and the Legal Disputes Department within the Ministry of Justice. He said that they have held meetings and discussions over the future functioning of the two mentioned departments as to whether the departments should be shifted to the Attorney General’s Office or should remain under the roof of the Ministry of Justice. Based on the new proposal, the mentioned departments remain within the Ministry of Justice while being reformed and overhauled.
Vice-President Danish threw light on the tasks and functioning of the Government Cases Department which mainly contained: lodging a lawsuit against individuals and organizations in the courts, defending the lawsuit, attracting the support and cooperation of the government organizations in recording and documenting state-owned properties, dragging land-grabbers to the legal-judicial institutions, resolving legal disputes among government organizations, cooperating with the government organizations/officials to address the legal disputes and issuing contracts to resolve legal disputes between government organizations.
Second Vice-President Danish also alluded to the key functionalities and tasks of the Legal Disputes Department within the Ministry of Justice. He mentioned some of them as: referring civil, commercial, property and familial cases to the courts, participation of the committee members in the enforcement and implementation of the legal-judicial documents, protection and defense of the property rights, responsiveness and accountability towards the demands of other relevant organizations and taking constructive measures for implementing and carrying out the judgements delivered in the courts.
The second Vice-President elaborated that the reform proposal is aimed at overhauling the departments, underscoring that the intended reforms will usher in appointments of directors, analysts, well-experienced and professional consultants for the two departments, creation of a database for documenting and recording government cases, assignment of a team to keep the database updated and collection of data/information on the personnel of the two departments.
He further added that with the help of executing these reforms, the following will be achieved: establishment of a senior monitoring committee tasked to oversee the implementation of the decisions and judgements delivered in the courts, study of the laws and legislative documents to come up with a set of amendments required, professional privileges (salaries and allowances), developing a unified format for attracting assistance and cooperation of the relevant organizations, reforming and developing the organizational chart/structure, attracting cooperation and assistance of international organizations, budget extension and developing an action plan.
Similarly, advisor to the President on transparency Sardar Mohammad Roshan voiced his views on the development programs. Head of the Central Statistics Office Javed Rasooli and Chairman of the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution Mohammad Qasim Hashimzai provided detailed ideas and opinions on the reforms being underway in their organizations.
After exhaustive discussions and assessment of the proposed reform plan, the reform proposal was approved. It was pointed out that the working mechanism and rule and regulations should constructively and positively change in the mentioned organizations and the working system should be better improved and focused on.
The President underscored that the working processes and procedures in the Government Cases Department and the Legal Disputes Department should be fully elucidated. The President stressed that all departments functioning under the Ministry of Justice and those operating in the provinces should function in the light of a clear set of duties and responsibilities and should undertake positive reforms.
President Ghani emphasized that all administrative units functioning under the roof of the Ministry of Justice should have a clear picture about their core functionalities and duties and that the mentioned Ministry should be prepared and able to initiate a process of overarching reforms which is responsive to the present-day needs and demands.
The second topic of the agenda was centered on organization and arrangement of a national Conference for the religious scholars (Ulema) with the theme of tackling corruption which is expected to be conducted by the Attorney General’s Office.
The participants of the meeting aired their opinions on holding this National Conference, supporting the idea and proposal for conducting such a national conference. They said that the initial proposal of the conference should be further improved and developed so that a clear, useful and strong message on containing corruption will be conveyed to the people. The President underscored that a proper, well-structured, planned and effective agenda should be prepared for the conference which should be all-embracing and an effective medium for communicating great messages to the public from the address of the religious body.
Shuaib Taimori, the Deputy Director of the state affairs integration department within the Administrative Office of the President provided the participants with a report expounding on the progress and activities of the secretariat of the High Council of Rule of Law and Anti-corruption.
Mr. Taimori mentioned the activities carried out, the number of meetings held by the High Council of Rule of Law and Anti-corruption and a set of actions and activities to be implemented by the mentioned council in the future.