Republic of South Sudan

Directorates Achievements and Challenges


The Directorate of Public Prosecution


The success to any prosecution mainly depends on the efficiency of the case management system.  The Ministry has taken steps to improve the prosecution of cases. With support from UNDP and IDLO, training workshops on case management for criminal cases have been held and over one hundred (100) legal counsels have received skills in criminal case management.

A template on case management has been designed and is being used by Public Prosecuting Attorneys.  The template carries information on the status of cases initiated across the country. As a result, there has been a significant rise in the total number of cases recorded, up from 4,643 cases in 2014 to 14,849 cases in 2015. 

The total includes all cases passing through the criminal justice system: cases under investigation, cases under prosecution in court and cases finalized in court. 

For example, out of 14,849 cases received by the Public Prosecuting Attorneys during the period of January to December 2015, 2,360 cases, representing 16% of cases, were prosecuted to their logical conclusion in the courts of law. 

This represents a 3% increase in completion rates as compared to the completion rate for the year 2014, which stood at 13%. The improvement in completion rate is attributable partly to the increased presence of Public Prosecuting Attorneys at state level as compared with 2014.

Cases tend to progress at a faster pace during the investigation stage, and there is a marked reduction in the completion rate at the trial stage. In this regard, the overall investigations (inclusive of cases that were completed in court) rate is 60%.

This is due to the fact that Public Prosecuting Attorneys have significant control over the investigation process.  On the other hand, court trials are slowed down by a number of factors such as postponement of trials, and the availability of witnesses and defense lawyers.


The role of Public Prosecution Attorneys has from time to time been misunderstood by some members of the public, members of the organized forces, traditional leaders and chiefs.

The mandate of the Public Prosecution Attorneys is provided under Article 135 of the Transitional Constitution of the republic of South Sudan 2011 and the Code of Criminal Procedure Act 2008.

Of course the introduction of the current procedure where the Public Prosecution Attorney is mandated to undertake pretrial proceedings, prosecute criminal cases in courts and represents the Government in civil matters is replacing the old system where the judges, police and the traditional leaders were in charge of all criminal proceedings and other criminal matter. 

It is obvious that some people have not yet understood this system which is now in all the legal systems worldwide.  This new system has made the magistrates and courts completely impartial in the course of trial.

The Ministry of Justice intends to launch a campaign through the mass media and other means available to inform and sensitize the public, traditional leaders, chiefs and members of the organized forces on the constitutional role of the Public Prosecution Attorneys which should be seen positively.

The quick disposal of criminal cases is a hallmark of a modern and just criminal justice system.  The handling of criminal cases by the Ministry of justice is confronted by a number of difficulties, including those associated with case management. 

With a clearly defined case management system, it will be easier for public Prosecuting Attorneys to plan and schedule the investigation and prosecution of the individual cases.  One of the main challenges to proper case management is access to technology by Public Prosecuting Attorneys and the police.

Consequently, those involved in the cases management often find themselves manually shifting through numerous pages of case records, which is a time-consuming procedure. The Ministry is yet to develop a proper mechanism or system for the management of both civil and Criminal Cases.

The Ministry intends to strengthen the use of this template so that statistics of criminal cases initiated across the country are easily known. In addition, the Ministry intends to use technology to link information from the States with the headquarters of the Ministry. 

This system will consist of a database with ability to provide detailed information on the progress of criminal cases including their disposition status.  The technology will allow computer systems in the headquarters to network with that in the states and other agencies to quickly disseminate information in an effort to improve the monitoring and handling of criminal cases.

Directorate of Legislation, Gazette, Printing and Publication.


Since its establishment, the Ministry has played a lead role in supporting the drafting of the laws of South Sudan. The Ministry facilitated the amendment of the Constitution of South Sudan, the latest being the amendment of the TCSS, 2011 regarding the establishment of 28 states, as well as other amendments.

The Ministry has also overseen the process of legislation, drafting, gazette, printing and publishing laws and subsidiary legislation.

Even when the country was still at the level of the Sudan (2005-2011), the Ministry oversaw the enactment of several laws in accordance with the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan 2005, and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement 2005. 

From the time of the Government of Southern Sudan to-date, the Ministry has facilitated the enactment of more than one hundred and sixteen (116) laws, excluding international and regional Conventions ratified or acceded by the Republic of South Sudan after independence.



Although the Ministry has facilitated the enactment of several laws, all but few of the enacted laws are printed, mainly by the development partners such as UNDP, IFC and EU through RCN etc. due to persistent budget constraints. 

For example, in the annual budget for 2012/2013, the National Legislative Assembly approved SSP 2,000,000 for printing some of the enacted laws.  This approval was immediately followed up in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. 

However, until the end of the same Financial Year, the said amount was not released to the Ministry. 

It worth stating that the Ministry of Justice is well aware of the importance of printing and publishing laws. The public knowledge of laws impacts positively on the rule of law.  The current state of affairs where most of the laws are shelved should not be allowed to continue. 

The Ministry will always lobby the Executive and the Legislature for the approval and release of funds for printing laws.

Directorate of Registration of Businesses.


The Directorate of Businesses Registration has made tremendous achievements.  With support from the Development Partners, the Directorate has computerized registration of companies to create conducive environment for local and foreign investment. 

The Directorate is now able to register a business within a day or two. So far, the Directorate has registered twenty-six thousand five hundred (26,500) Companies, one thousand eight hundred (1,800) Business Names, two thousand eight hundreds and eighty (2,880) NGOs and Associations, six hundred and sixty-eight (668) Trademarks and one hundred and twenty (120) Partnerships. 

The registration of a business, whether a company or partnership, is currently done electronically unlike before when it used to be manually. The Directorate has also started to roll out business registration to the states. Two branches are already established with Wau Business Registry now operating. However, the Malakal Business Registry was looted and destroyed during the war.

The Directorate has also facilitated training of legal counsel in different areas of registration of businesses.



There are still challenges to be addressed and overcome. 

And this is the regulation and control of businesses, in particular foreign businesses.  Inadequate capacity to effectively regulate businesses.  This has resulted into some briefcase businesses getting contracts with the government institutions even if the business has no capital. 

Many registered businesses are not filing annual returns in spite of calls by the Chief Registrar. This makes it difficult to determine whether a business is indeed viable and functioning.

The Ministry is currently developing the necessary forms for filing annual returns. Other challenges include lack of store/space for keeping files for registered businesses, lack of motivation for registry staff and maintenance of ICT equipment which has become very expensive to bear.

Directorate of Training and Research.


The Ministry of Justice has capacity building as one of its priorities since its establishment in 2005.  Together with some Development Partners (EU, IDLO and UNDP), the Ministry has been organizing training courses for the legal counsels.

The objective is to improve the skills of the legal staff in report writing and prosecution. The Ministry has also established a Legal Training Institute for law graduates. This post graduate institute aims at maintenance of legal professional standards and will award a post graduate diploma.

The Ministry has acquired a piece of land some 15 kilometers on the Juba-Nimule road from the local communities. Together with the development partners, in particular the EU and the IDLO, a curriculum has been developed.

The law for the institute is already enacted. The construction work should have been completed had it not been for the conflict that erupted in the country in December 2013. The EU, which had pledged six million EURO for the construction of the institute, diverted the funds to support its humanitarian response in the wake of the conflict.

As for the long-term plan, the policy of the Ministry is sending staff for further studies in the relevant disciplines. This policy will continue until a good number of staff with skills is reached.

In future, the post graduate diploma will be the sole requirement for legal practice in and outside government institutions across the country. A legal framework will be developed to that effect.

This will curb the current lack of a unified legal approaches in the legal practice whether within or outside government institutions and will put lawyers in South Sudan into equal footing with their counterparts within the region and beyond.


The absence of a regulatory body for legal education and training has affected the quality of law graduates in national universities. There is need to establish a regulatory body to regulate legal education and bring all segments of legal training, including the university segment, under its umbrella for proper setting and enforcement of standards.

There is urgent need to refocus training of advocates on vocational and clinical aspects of legal education, while leaving the university faculties of law to concentrate on theoretical and conceptual aspects of the law.

It is therefore expedient to provide continuing professional development for the proper delivery of services in the country. The short courses offered to legal counsels with the support from EU/IDLO are welcomed, but are not an effective method for continuing professional development for lawyers.

It is worth stating that a good number of young Legal Advisors and Legal Counsel who studied law in Sudan got their legal training in Arabic at the time Sudanese legal system was a mixture of Islamic Sharia, Civil law and some elements of Common law.

Consequently, these young lawyers, due to difficulties to write and express themselves in English language, face formidable challenges to provide legal services efficiently.

Although the Ministry has been executing training programs for these staff on principles of Common Law and the English Language, the impact of such training has not been felt in practice.