News

District Courts Indifferent to Juvenile Justice

02 July 2020, Kathmandu: In the course of prioritizing the best interest of children amid COVID-19 concerns, on 20 March 2020, 25 March 2020 and 3 April 2020, the full bench of the Supreme Court (SC) issued directives that minors currently detained at correction facilities in different parts of the country to be handed over to their parents or guardians upon request to serve the remainder of their sentence at home. However, district courts are found deciding cases against the very spirit of SC's order. Even in offenses of similar nature, some Courts have released the juveniles whereas some rejected the application for release. More importantly, Judges of district courts have been using their absolute discretionary power to decide cases. These inconsistencies in decisions have already raised discourse in legal community. It also poses an imminent risk in the administration of the justice.

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AF releases torture report - The Need of New Polices and Legal Reform

AF releases torture report - The Need of New Polices and Legal Reform

26 June 2020, Kathmandu: In order to commemorate the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture-2020, Advocacy Forum-Nepal (AF) has published a report titled, "Torture in Nepal in 2019-The Need for New Policies and Legal Reform" on torture/ill-treatment of detainees in police custody presenting an analysis of data collected from detainees in police custody and Child Correction Homes (CCHs) in 2019. This year, AF also analysed data on compensation to assess the effectiveness of the laws, policies and practices in place to provide compensation and reparation for victims of torture.

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Conflict Victims Draw Attention of Stakeholders-Submit Memorandum in Banke

Conflict Victims Draw Attention of Stakeholders-Submit Memorandum in Banke

On 23 June 2020, Advocacy Forum-Nepal together with District Transitional Network, Banke submitted a memorandum to Ajay Kumar Shrivastav (Coordinator, District Coordination Committee, Banke), Dirgharaj Upadhyay (Assistant Chief District Officer, District Administration Office, Banke), Uma Thapa Magar (Deputy Chief, Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan Office) and Chandrakanta Chapagain (Chief, National Human Rights Commission, Nepalgunj), regarding the concerns of conflict victims during the COVID-19. The Memorandum was also communicated to Baijanath Rural Municipality via an email.

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High Court Decides in Favor of Two Children

High Court repeals the decision of Banke District Court and orders to take appropriate decision relating to two children kept in Child Correction Home

Tulsipur High Court, Nepalgunj Bench has ordered Banke District to take an appropriate decision relating to a writ of habeas corpus filed by Advocacy Forum on behalf  two children Lakhanwar and Puraina (psudonyms). Taking the decision made by Full Bench of Supreme Court regarding the present Covid-19 situation and the best interests of the children into consideration, High Court has repealed Banke District Court’s decision of not releasing the children on parental custody and further issued an order to take an appropriate decision so that they can be released into parental custody under condition to be presented whenever the Court summons.

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Case Updates

Emblematic Cases

Among the hundreds of cases documented, Advocacy Forum has selected altogether 15 representative cases that show an endemic pattern of obstruction of justice, brazen abuse or total disregard of the law and deliberate attempts to escape accountability. The cases are also selected on the basis of their availability of evidence and wider public appeal. AF launches campaigns with other national and international organizations to establish accountability in those cases with a view to opening the door of justice to thousands of other similar cases.
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First Information Reports

First Information Report (FIR) is a formal complaint lodged with the police or District Administration Office by the victim of a cognizable offence or by someone on his/her behalf.  As per the existing legal system in Nepal, victims or their representatives do not have direct access to the courts. In criminal cases, police have exclusive jurisdiction to investigate and process evidence to the public prosecutors who then register the cases in court. However, the police authorities not only dillydally to register FIRs but also fail to carry out effective investigations. AF has been helping victims and their families to file FIRs and seeking mandamus orders for the effective investigations on the cases.
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Human Rights Committee Submissions

Advocacy Forum is the first organization in Nepal to use individual complaint mechanism under the First Optional Protocol of International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). According to the said protocol, individuals, whose countries are party to the ICCPR and the protocol, who claim their rights guaranteed by the ICCPR have been breached, and who have exhausted existing domestic legal remedies in the pursuit of justice, can submit written communications to the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC). This particular effort of AF has opened the space of Nepali lawyers to international litigation.
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Torture Compensation Cases

Advocacy Forum legally intervenes on behalf of detainees who claimed to have been tortured by police and forest officers in government detention facilities. Upon consent by victims, AF attorneys register suits, and represent victims in court seeking for torture compensation under the Torture Compensation Act -1996 and necessary action against the perpetrators.
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Initiatives

Case Communication

Advocacy Forum reports urgent cases of human rights violations to UN-OHCHR, AHRC and to some specific organizations such as Amnesty International, Asian Human Rights Commission, OMCT, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, diplomatic communities, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Execution and the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. These international organizations/bodies give due importance to our communications and have been regularly issuing urgent appeals to pressure the concerned authorities and the government. AF also regularly reports cases to Human Rights Cell of Nepal Police, Office of Attorney General and National Human Rights Commission requesting investigation and necessary action against the perpetrators and timely redress to victims.

Setting the Precedents

Important judicial rulings by courts in the cases represented by AF on behalf of victims have been instrumental in establishing case law in Nepal. The efforts of AF have been immensely important in setting standards vis-à-vis the cases of human rights violations and ensuring fair trial standards in Nepal and thereby creating a solid body of jurisprudence.  AF also files Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking various directive orders for the implementation of existing legal provisions and challenging those provisions that expressly contradict with the accepted international standards.






Capacity Building Measures

AF has developed a comprehensive framework to strengthen capacities of its staffers, stakeholders, institutions, communities and target groups for the effective realization of its vision, mission and goals. The framework is set at the systemic, institutional and individual levels.  Key areas that require capacity building are identified as per the needs of relevant stakeholders or when AF feels necessary during the implementation of its various activities. AF is also committed to increasing its functionality by supplementing the expertise of staff wherever possible, both by educational workshops and by exposure to the international human rights community.

Advocacy and Lobbying

Advocacy Forum works to influence the Nepali government's policies and laws by holding regular lobby meetings with lawmakers, officials from ministries concerned, members of the civil society and other relevant stakeholders. Via various activities, campaigns and submissions, it also tries to lobby both national and international bodies to ensure human rights are upheld. It has also been continuously seeking to establish strong lines of communication and effective working partnerships with the international and domestic human rights community. AF recognizes the necessity of international co-operation in overturning the culture of impunity that sustains a climate conducive to human rights abuse in Nepal.