Strengthening the Capacity of the Judicial System and Promoting the Rule of Law in Mali was a project of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)  aiming at providing support to national stakeholders for a comprehensive reform of the judicial system as part of Mali’s governmental transition.

The project was realized with financial support from the Federal Republic of Germany from December 2020 to July 2023 in cooperation with UNITAR’s national implementing partner, the Institut National de Formation Judiciaire (INFJ). Based on findings of an assessment mission, it addressed capacity building in the areas of justice, rule of law and democracy, targeting legal professionals and representatives from civil society. Based on findings of an assessment mission, it addressed capacity building in the areas of justice, rule of law and democracy, targeting legal professionals and representatives from civil society. 


The project started with a National Colloquium on electoral disputes followed by training of qualified trainers, selected among experienced judges, magistrates, advocates and other legal experts from the Malian judicial system. They were involved in the project’s material design and training activities, putting in practice their newly acquired competencies.

Supported by UNITAR subject matter experts, training was conducted on ethics and deontology, criminal procedure, writing of judgments and court decisions, preparation of judicial acts, securities and enforcement of court orders, counter-money laundering, protection of minors and vulnerable persons, and on addressing gender-based violence, democratic principles and electoral law. The courses targeted judges, public prosecutors, judicial police officers, advocates, bailiffs, court commissioners, notaries, clerks as well as representatives from civil society, political parties and the media. By the end of the project, more than 1.600 beneficiaries had received trainings. In addition, selected legal instruments, such as the Penal Code, Family Law Code, Legal Aid Law and its Application Decree were translated from French into up to 13 local languages, printed in 16.000 copies and disseminated.

The project supported the modernization and the digitalization of the Malian justice system with hands-on experience on the use of various online platforms required in the legal system and for the implementation of the project. In addition, high-level participants from the Malian justice institutions met their counterparts in Rwanda and Senegal to discuss ways to modernize and digitalize the justice system to make it more efficient and accountable.

The project ended in July 2023. UNITAR believes that strengthened justice systems enhance respect for the rule of law, promote peace and justice and increase the population’s trust in the capacity and the willingness of Governments to uphold and protect the rights of individuals, leading finally to the maintenance of peace and stability in the country and the region. UNITAR seeks to develop similar projects in West Africa.

Minister of Justice, H.E. Mamadou KASSOGUE

This is one of the best projects the Institut National de Formation Judiciaire has carried out since its creation in 1986, with a 96% participation rate. The UNITAR/INFJ project to strengthen the capacity of the judicial system and promote the rule of law in Mali has distinguished itself as a flagship project not only because of its highly flexible methodological and pedagogical approach but also because of the exceptional results it has achieved. It has succeeded in reconciling conceptual and empirical approaches to offer beneficiaries appropriate pedagogical methods. The project has taken into account the inaccessibility of legal texts to citizens due to language barriers. I would like to plead for the renewal of the UNITAR project to enable us to continue this fine work and strengthen our capacities.   All things must come to an end, even good things, and the UNITAR project has been a very good thing for our country. 

German Ambassador to Mali, H.E. Dr Dietrich Pol

These training courses are part of a wide range of training programmes which Germany has been promoting since last year via UNITAR, and through which we are supporting the strengthening of justice and the promotion of the rule of law in Mali. Rule of law reforms are one of the central themes of our bilateral support, and I am delighted to see the press here today, which also shows the great interest of the Malian public in these reforms. For their part, the training courses starting today show the diversity of forms that strengthening the rule of law can take in practice: on the one hand, through more technical training, for example, on procedural acts which have a considerable impact on the efficiency of the justice system. On the other hand, material training, for example in the fight against sexual violence, which brings justice closer to its central objective of guaranteeing protection and justice for all citizens, regardless of gender.

Opening Ceremony and Colloquium

On October 26th, 2021 in Bamako, Mali, after a successful Training of Trainers course in the beginning of October, the project officially began with an opening ceremony and a subsequent colloquium on “le contentieux électoral” and in attendance was the Minister of Justice, H.E. Mamadou KASSOGUEGerman Ambassador to Mali H.E. Dr Dietrich Pol, and the Director of the Division for Peace at UNITAR, Mr. Evariste Karambizi.

The current transitional phase in Mali is supposed to formally end next year with general elections.

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
Supreme Court

First training session on criminal procedure for magistrates

From 08 to 12 November 2021 in Bamako, Mali, UNITAR and the Institut National de Formation Judiciaire (INFJ) launched training sessions on criminal procedure and ethics for magistrates.

Closing of the second training session on the criminal procedure

On November 19th, 2021 in Bamako, Mali, UNITAR and INFJ closed the second training to reinforce the Malian judicial capacities that had just ended. 


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