WASHINGTON, November 18, 2010 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a US$20 million loan this Thursday to improve Peru’s justice system. The loan will help reduce the duration of case proceedings, improve the provision of justice services to the population and support the implementation of the new Criminal Procedure Code. The Peruvian Government will fund US$10 million for this initiative, bringing the total for this project to US$30 million.
According to Dr. Rosario Fernandez, Justice Minister, “this loan will allow us to begin the second phase of a project that seeks to consolidate past achievements while gradually implementing the new Criminal Procedure Code. It will also allow us to provide more efficient judicial offices; reduce trial times, all of this with the intention of increasing and improving citizens’ access to justice.”
The project includes the Attorney General’s Office, which will be participating along with the Judiciary, the Ministry of Justice, the National Judicial Council and the Judicial Academy, institutions that were already included in the initial phase.
“Improvements to judicial services will bring about significant benefits, both for Peruvian institutions as well as society in general. Through this project, we seek to improve the quality, duration and reliability of judicial processes, which, among other things, will help streamline the business climate both for the private sector and individuals,” said Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
The new Criminal Procedure Code will allow greater transparency in criminal procedures while reducing their duration by incorporating oral trials. Furthermore, the new initiative includes the professionalization of human resource management and the strengthening of planning and management capacities in participating institutions.
The Judiciary seeks to establish a more functional management system to meet the needs of citizens. This project will help to ensure that the population, especially those with less economic resources, has enhanced access to justice.
According to Lisa Bhansali, World Bank Project Manager, “the first Peru Justice Services Improvement Project, among other activities, supported 10 out of 29 judicial districts during the 2005-2010 period, creating an important inter-institutional coordination mechanism, as well as strengthening the technical capacity of key actors within the judicial system.”
The project will develop an improved management system for the administration of justice, =characterized by a better quality of services and increased access to justice , and providing reliable information regarding the performance of the justice system.
The results expected from this project include:
- Reducing the average duration of criminal proceedings from 835 to 209 days in three judicial districts;
- Increasing the number of cases handled by the ALEGRAs, free legal aid centers managed by the Ministry of Justice from 100,000 to 250,000.
- Increasing the number of ALEGRAs in peri-urban and rural areas from 25 to 49.
- Increasing access to information via internet by 15 percentage points in all five participating institutions.
- 100% of judges and prosecutors assessed by new evaluation standards.
- Reducing the response time of the Legal Medical Institute from 20 days to 1.
This project has a duration of four years and is financed through a variable interest rate loan (LIBOR + 6 Months plus a variable margin), has a 13-year maturity period and a 10.5-year grace period.