Norway and Sweden jointly support gender-sensitive Judiciary

The Norwegian Embassy and Sweden (Sida) jointly support the project “Gender and Justice: Toward a Fair and Impartial Judiciary”, carried out by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the Atlantic Initiative.

The multi-year project involves training and awareness-raising for judges and prosecutors on gender bias, improved responses to domestic violence, and preventing sexual harassment in the Judiciary. Guidelines and bench-books have been developed and adopted by the relevant institutions. A qualitative approach ensures sustainability and ownership, and the support of the High Judicial Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) is a key asset.

The results are a great accomplishment by not only creating more knowledge about gender equality among the participants, but also changing values and attitudes. Whether it also will change the judicial procedures and sentencing is too early to tell. A minor monitoring of Court cases will be carried out later this spring.

“These thorough changes of attitudes and behaviours normally take time, so it can be hard to find any fundamental changes already after less than two years”, says project leader Heather Huhtanen.