Batela Mwana Project : The Justice Sector launches the Operating Modes Development Workshop

On March 28, the justice sector in the DRC kicked off its activities with the launch of the Operating Modes Development Workshop intended for Children’s Tribunals. This event was preceded by a data collection mission organized from March 2 to 11, 2018 at the Courts for Children and at a Peace Court. 

The Operating Modes Development Workshop was held from March 28 to 30, 2018 in Kinshasa/Gombe.  This workshop was held under the patronage of the Permanent Secretary of the Magistracy’s Superior Council, represented for the occasion at the opening and closing, by the second Secretary Rapporteur. Other important partners were present including the Ministry of Justice through its Documentation and Studies Department and the Batela Mwana Project Manager.

During three days, 25 participants from the areas covered by the data collection survey, took part in the workshop, including judges, clerks, social workers, members of the mediation committee, the Magistracy’s Superior Council representatives, the Documentation and Studies Department of the Ministry of Justice, lawyers and members of NGOs working for child protection in the country.

The Operating Modes, currently under development, will focus on the trajectory and accompaniment of a child in conflict with the law within the Court for Children, including the roles and responsibilities of key actors (judges, social workers and mediation committee members).

After three days of work and exchanges in subgroups, the participants reached a consensus on the trajectory and the accompaniment of a child in conflict with the law from the reception of the child at the Court for Children until the closing of its file. The definition of the roles and responsibilities as well as the main professional tools and writings of each of the key actors at each stage of the trajectory has also been discussed. The workshop also provided the necessary information for the development of the Operating Modes for this sector.

The workshop was also an opportunity to discuss some of the procedural concerns on which consensus was reached, such as the implementation of the mediation committee enforced by the sections 136 and 137 of the Act on Child Protection. The intervention of social assistants for the emergency evaluation  of children before the attribution of the file to the judge was also discussed. At the end of the workshop, the project team came out with a draft plan that will serve as a guideline for the drafting of the operating mode.

In his closing remarks, the representative of the Magistracy’s Superior Council promised the circulation of flyers for the implementation of the procedure.