The Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MJCS) - Stretem Rod Blong Jastis mo Sefti (SRBJS) Vocational Study Support Scheme (VSSS) is now accepting applications for vocational study support in Semester 2 2018!
MJCS, in partnership with SRBJS, seeks to encourage an environment where staff actively maintain and develop their professional knowledge, skills and expertise. To support this aim, staff from agencies and offices in the Justice and Community Services sector and relevant non-government organisations, may apply for financial support through the VSSS to cover the basic costs (course fees and textbooks) associated with undertaking part time vocational study.

The application process is competitive and fully outlined here. Interested applicants must complete an VSSS_Application_Current_Version.pdf. All applications must be justified on the basis of clear links between the individual's job training needs and the proposed vocational or professional education. All applications require management endorsement.

Applications must be received by 5pm Friday 22 June 2018. Note also that the education institution an applicant selects will have its own admission procedures that applicants need to fulfill.

For any inquiries, please contact MJCS Sector Capacity Development Coordinator, Louise Nasak (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or

SRBJS Training and Learning Adviser, Amy Green (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

We are looking forward to receiving applications from across the justice and community services and relevant non-government organisations sector!
Australian-funded Stretem Rod Blong Jastis mo Sefti program (SRBJS) – the Vanuatu Australia Policing and Justice Program - delivers a Building Community Partnerships course to support the skills development of staff from the Police, Justice and Community Services sector. The course is focused on effective community engagement intended to achieve results through community partnerships which is so important in the context of an under-resourced Government. The second input of this program which commenced in February 2018 has representatives from seven agencies from the policing, justice and community services sector.INCLU

The recent second block of training resulted in a name change for the course to Building Inclusive Community Partnerships, which more accurately reflects the program's approach. The name change recognised that in order for community partnerships to be effective they must be inclusive. The course is designed to reflect and build awareness of gender equality, child protection, disability and social inclusion as highlighted in Justice and Community Services Sector Strategy 2018 – 2021.

The presentation by the Vanuatu Society for People with Disability and the Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association with over 12 panel members, was one of the highlights of the week. The Disability Desk Officer, Knox Morris, from the Ministry of Justice and Community Services was also present. The workshop was beautifully facilitated by Judith Iakavai (VSPD Program coordinator) who ensured participants heard the stories of people with varied and complex disability. The stories told by the panel members provided enormous insight not only to the multiple barriers faced by people with disabilities but were also a reflection of courage and hope. The hands-on activities of experiencing the various mobility devices gave the participants an even greater appreciation of the multiple barriers that people with disability face. This was followed by discussion about strategies to be used to ensure people with disabilities were included in community decision making.

Building Inclusive Community Partnerships Training has a strong emphasis on applied learning, with all participants undertaking a workplace project. As a consequence of this workshop the projects have been modified to have a stronger focus on people with disabilities and inclusion. 
The Disability Desk at MJCS in collaboration with Vanuatu Society for persons with Disability had together facilitated a 3 days workshops with the 11 area councils of Shefa Province. The workshop was held at the Matnapuka conference room at Shefa province office.

There were 11 area secretaries aSHE1nd in cluding People with disability at this work shop. The purpose of the 3 day's workshop is to:
• Area secretaries to explore ways to collaborate in conducting a CBR outreach program to communities of rural Efate
• Expansion of Community base Rehabilitation work to Efate Urban and offshore Islands.
• Strengthening the working relationship with Shefa province in Disability Inclusion
The 3 days' workshop also involves a panel discussion were 6 persons with disability had share the challenges the faced in a community. A panel had raised accessibility as a challenge for wheelchair users getting into buildings and accessing transport.

The Disability Desk had also put on a presentation in regards to the National Disability Inclusive development Policy 8 priority areas and also how it aligns with the NSDP. The last day of the workshop had the involvement of the area secretaries in a planning stage where they had also present on the few area council profiling.
Friday 18 May marked a critical step in ensuring Vanuatu is a country inclusive of all people, including persons with disabilities. The Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MJCS), with support from the Australian-funded Stretem Rod Blong Jastis mo Sefti (SRBJS), also known as Vanuatu Australia Policing and Justice Program, launched the Disability Inclusive Development Policy 2018 – 2025 (DID Policy). The DID Policy is the culmination of extensive participatory review of the inaugural National Disability Policy 2008 2015 led by MJCS Disability Desk with the technical and financial support of SRBJS and the Pacific Disability Forum and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The Policy outlines a clear vision for a disability inclusive future and activates the commitments the Government of Vanuatu made by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

In line with the approach under the CRPD and the principle of 'nothing about us without us', the launch was led by persons with disabilities. Mr Sergio Moses and Ms Helen Tamata were Masters of Ceremony and the launch began with a panel discussion where persons with disabilities explained the rationale and vision behind each of the eight DID Policy objectives. The panellists emphasised the need to ensure persons with disabilities have equal access to their rights and opportunities to contribute to Vanuatu society, economy and fully participate in decision-making processes. The day concluded with a performance by Wan Smolbag's Rainbow Disability Theatre.

The launch was held at the new Seafront Stage and attended by the Minister for Justice and Community Services, Hon. Ronald Warsal, Australian High Commissioner Ms Jenny Da Rin, Government Heads of Agencies and key NGO and civil society partners, including Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association and Vanuatu Society for People with Disability. In his official remarks the Minister highlighted the need for Government Ministries, civil society and communities to work together to realise the DID Policy vision. Disability Inclusion is everyone's business.

              DID1            DID2                  DID3

The Shefa Provincial government had embraced its 1st council sitting for this year 2018. The Disability Desk at MJCS was also part of the program on delivering a presentation to the 18 Honorable Shefa Provincial Councilors. The purpose of the presentation is to inform the Councilors about work the Disability Desk within the MJCS and also the National Disability Inclusive Development Policy. At the Council sitting there is also a representative for persons with disability in the Meetings.

The Ministry of Justice and Community Service had acknowledge the provincial government for the representation of persons with disability at its council siting every year.

On Saturday 5 May 2018 in Port Vila the dedicated team at the Office of the Public Prosecutor (OPP) came together to plan the next 12 months key objectives and activities. The planning day started with a welcome from the Public Prosecutor, Josaia Naigulevu and then moved onto an introduction from the business planning day facilitator, Richard Evans.

The planning day started with activities and discussions about how everyone in the Office viewed their role and how it fits into the agency as a whole. Then the program moved onto some very honest discussion about gender equity and it was agreed by all that this was the beginning of a longer discussion. Having laid the ground work the Office went ahead analysing what the key objectives were and what activities had been completed since the last planning day. Having acknowledged that many of the activities had been completed the work started on what the Office wanted to complete in the next 12 months.

At the end the OPP had a set of realistic and measurable key objectives developed with clear ways to get them done. It was a day well spent by all. It goes without saying that the planning day would not have been the success it was without the ongoing support of Stretem Rod Blong Jastis mo Sefti and the Australian Aid program to help us get all provincial staff to the planning day, securing the venue and providing a great facilitator.

planing day 1                planning day 2
On Friday 27 April, Vanuatu's justice community gathered at the Office of the Public Prosecutor to open the Chief Justice Frederick G. Cooke Law Library and formally launch the Prosecutors' Code of Ethics and Prosecution Policy.Library1
The event was streamed live to the Public Prosecutions office in Canberra so that two important guests, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Jon White SC, and Supreme Court Justice, Michael Elkaim, could participate in the proceedings via webcam. The books for the Cooke Law library had been gifted to the Ministry of Justice and Community Services by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and bought over to Vanuatu with the assistance of the Australian-funded Vanuatu Australia Policing and Justice Support program. Over 2,000 books were distributed between the Office of the Public Prosecutor, Public Solicitor's Office and the State Law Office.

The law library was opened by the Australian High Commissioner, Jenny Da Rin, a law graduate herself. The High Commissioner said that this 'repository of knowledge' would build long term capacity and would benefit prosecutors and Ni-Vanuatu lawyers for many years to come.

The library is named after Chief Justice Frederick. G. Cooke; the first Chief Justice of the Republic of Vanuatu. Cooke was the Chief Justice from 1980 – 1990.
Following the opening of the library, Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek launched the Code of Ethics. The Chief Justice in his speech emphasised the importance of ethics in the legal profession and the special role that prosecutors hold in promoting ethical behaviour.

The Minister for Justice and Community Services, Hon. Ronald Warsal, launched the Prosecution Policy remarking that a policy will make decisions transparent and accountable. In her closing remarks, master of ceremony, Marie Taiki remarked that she and her fellow prosecutors will have no excuses now with the guidance that these publications provided.
EMMThe Director, Managers, Principal Correctional officers and Senior Corporate and Probation officers of the Department of Correctional Services and Technical Advisor to DBKS attended 2 days Executive Management Meeting (EMM) at the Ramada Resort on 16 – 17 May 2018. It was an annual meeting held two times a year and this year was their first EMM for 2018. During 2 days meeting, EMM members discussed and made decision of some of the important issues of the Corrections such as the discussion and presentation on 2018 recurrent budget against progress of Business Plan, MFAT NZ project funding to Corrections, discussion on the Corrections Vehicle fleet, discussion and approval of some new internal polices, update members on Organisational Structure in line with new GRT, discussion on Correctional Land Issues and OMS and Saperion uses. This was a high level meeting which usually involves senior executives at top level making sound decision collectively regarding issues affecting DBKS and also opportunity to share information and encourage members to focus on the progress of the DBKS 2018 strategic plans.

Two of the highlights of the meeting were; the M & E Basics and JCSSS presentation presented by Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the MJCS, Mrs. Jocelyne Loughman. During this presentation EMM Members where privileged to informed and reminded of the government strategic plans (NSDP, JCSSS, Corporate Plans, and Business Plan) and the importance of the M & E Framework. The other is a field trip was organised and EMM Members were privileged to visit Errangorango farm and observed farming project there managed by Port Vila Correctional Centre. Errangorango Farm is currently supported by the NZAid Small Infrastructure Grant (SIP).
It was a successful EMM organised so far as all of the agenda items were discussed on time. The next EMM will be around November 2018.
With the support of her colleagues at the Office of the Public Prosecutor and the Australian-funded Stretem Rod Blong Jastis mo Sefti program – Vanuatu Australia Policing and Justice Program - Micheline Tasso, a State Prosecutor, was fortunate to attend the 10 day leadership forum on improving women and children's access to justice in Melbourne, Australia from 23 April 2018. The forum included a number of representatives from both Vanuatu and Fiji. State Prosecutor Tasso was able to contribute to much of the legal discussion with Judges, Magistrates and Prosecutors at the Family Court of Australia, the Melbourne Magistrates, Children's and Coroners Court and as she commented, "It was useful to see that the people working in these Courts everyday experience similar things to what we are dealing with here in Vanuatu.'

The group were also hosted by the Victorian Institute of Forensic medicine and were treated to a number of presentations on forensic medicine, DNA evidence and some of the medical myths around the sexual assault of women and girls. The highlight for Ms Tasso was vising the Melbourne Children's Court and learning not only about the importance to the community of rehabilitating children who offend but also some of the facilities to counsel and divert children out of the criminal justice system so that they do not become long term criminals.

Ms Tasso commented, "Vanuatu doesn't have any Juvenile Justice legislation and my experience tells me we need some" however, Ms Tasso said, "Seeing what Australian Courts and Police are doing now and how children are benefiting this forum has given me many ideas about what can be done now when I am making submissions in Court and what can be done in the future."

Twelve (12) agencies from the Policing, Justice and Community Services Sector got together for a first ever sector-wide Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) training from the 30th to the 31st May 2018, at the Ramada Resort. A total of 17 participants participated in the 2 days M&E workshop including a Head of an Agency and some very senior officers representing their agencies. A word of acknowledgment and thank you goes to all the Heads of Agencies who nominated ME1officers from their agencies to be part of this training.

Sector Capacity Development Coordinator, Mrs. Louise Nasak, at the opening of the 2 day workshop encouraged the participants to make M&E a part of their professional culture, emphasising that everyone is responsible for the quality output of their work and that of their organisations, and that it is not the responsibility of just the M&E Officer or of one or two people in the organisation.

Topics covered in Day 1 of the workshop included M&E Fundamentals, asking critical questions such as Why, When, What, How, Where and Who, M&E Plans, SMART Indicators and Data & Data Collection Methods. On Day 2 participants looked at Monitoring a Business Plan, starting with Business Planning, Monitoring and Reporting.

The second series continuing from this sector M&E Training is planned for September 2018.

The 2 day M&E session is the first series of a phased M&E Training Package consisting of seven (7) modules that look at fundamental M&E needs across the sector. The sessions were delivered using a combination of theory and practical sessions, encouraging maximum participation and rich discussions. The modules were collaboratively developed by the MJCS and the Stretem Rod Blong Jastis mo Sefti (SRBJS) Program.
On behalf of the MJCS and the 12 participating agencies, 'bigfala tok tankio' to the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, through the SRBJS Program, for the budgetary and technical support that enabled the MJCS to organise and deliver the training. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the SRBJS Program to continue to strengthen the quality of our service delivery across the sector.
The Authorised Persons and Registered Counsellors pilot is now five months into operation.

The Authorised Persons and Registered Counsellors provisions in the Family Protection Act (FPA) are now being implemented for the first time through the pilot. All other provisions have been applied since the FPA's commencement in March 2009 and are used by the Courts and police for the issue of Temporary Protection Orders and to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence. The Authorised Persons and Registered Counsellors provisions had proved difficult for the Government to implement for a variety of reasons, however significant work has been done to understand the key challenges.

A pilot is necessary to demonstrate if the provisions are practical and can be extended throughout Vanuatu and will offer recommendations that could inform a review of the FPA.
In 2016 an approach to piloting was agreed between the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MJCS) and the Australian-funded Stretem Rod Blong Jastis program to conduct a careful and well-monitored pilot, with MJCS having overall responsibility and oversight of the pilot and Stretem Rod Blong Jastis mo Sefti (Vanuatu Australia Policing and Justice Program) responsible for leading its implementation.

The 12-month pilot is being undertaken in South Santo, Fanafo Stonehill and Matantas/Malau on Santo, and Paunangisu, Ohlen Matakheru and Tokyo Buninga/Paama on Efate.

A media event held on 22 January 2018, marked the 'official' public launching of the pilot. While Authorised Persons had been formally appointed by His Excellency the President of Vanuatu in December 2017, the media event centred on the signing of the instruments of appointment of Registered Counsellors by the Honourable Minister for Justice and Community Services, Mr Ronald Warsal. Honourable Mr Warsal and Her Excellency Jenny Da Rin, the Australian High Commissioner made formal speeches to mark the official launching event.

The pilot was launched by way of a series of official launching events held in January and February 2018, with MJCS Acting Director General, Pacco Siri, leading the launching events in every community.
In May 2018, police rotations commenced on Santo, which has police officers rotating through the pilot locations to provide support to Authorised Persons and Registered Counsellors, raise awareness around crime prevention and the work of police, as well as receive complaints from community members with respect to criminal concerns.
The pilot is a significant development for Vanuatu and elsewhere in the Pacific, with the implementation for the first time of the Authorised Persons and Registered Counsellors provisions of the FPA.
To date, the Authorised Persons have granted 14 Temporary Protection Orders for the protection of victims of domestic violence.

APRC2                                              AP  RC1
The Vanuatu Law Reform Commission will on a monthly basis provide a column of Q&A to shed light on the mandate of the Vanuatu Law Reform Commission. This is an initiative to inform the general public on the roles and functions of the Vanuatu Law Reform Commission and the processes that can be utilised by Ministries and Departments to achieve legislative reform.
The purpose of this awareness raising strategy is to increase public knowledge and understanding of the legal mandate of the VLRC. It is hoped that this will increase the number of submissions by Ministries and Departments as they become more acquainted on how they can contribute to law reform in Vanuatu.

1.       What is the Law Reform Commission?
The Vanuatu Law Reform Commission is mandated by the Law Reform Commission Act (Cap 115) to review, recommend and reform the laws of Vanuatu as amended from time to time.

2.       What is Law Reform?

Law reform is the process of changing and updating laws, so that they reflect the current values and needs of modern society. Those responsible for making our laws must identify and study shifts in values, behaviours and expectations; they must consider whether new or amended laws are required; and they must develop and implement these changes. Law reform is a perpetual or ongoing process: it never finishes. The law must be flexible and receptive to change, so that stays fair, relevant and up to date. Above all, it must serve the needs of the people. A law based on outdated or irrelevant values will only let down the people it is intended to serve and protect. The law must also be able to respond to situations and scenarios thrown up by a changing society, such as new forms of criminal activity.

Two of the Correctional ServicesDBKS3 Officers currently studying in PNG Corrections Services are here for 2 weeks holiday. Acting Probation Correction Officer (A/PCO), John Jack George and Senior Correction Officer (SCO) Daniel Nako were nominated for this training for a 1 year period. They have completed Phase 1 of Commission Officer Eligibility Training Program at Papua New Guinea Correctional Services Staff Training College.

The training program is in twofold: Phase1: (off – the – Job) commenced Monday 15th January and ended Friday 27th of April 2018 and covers 12 competences: Use of information to make critical decision, manage effective workplace relationship, manage projects, produce and reviews standard intelligence products, manage humans resource, manage a work unit, organise and chair meetings, analyse information, identify risk and apply risk management, manage performance, promote diversity and conduct evaluation.

With the final assessment of phase 1, both of them have been successfully selected to undertake phase 2, beginning 16th May – 16th November 2018. Upon their return to PNG, both officers will be posted to do on-the-job training at Bomana Major Correctional Institution (PNG). During the maximum period of eight (8) months they are required to provide evidence of work on Units of Competences they undertook during Phase 1 of their training program.

Presenting their final report of Phase 1 to the Director of the Correctional Services on the 2th May 2018, both officers were very happy about their training, they said that they enjoyed their training and Papua New Guinea Correction Services (PNGS) looks after them very well. The Director of the Correctional Services, in receiving their report acknowledged both officers and congratulated them of their achievements. This is another mile stone for DBKS since this is a first training for Vanuatu Correctional Staff to attend such training in PNG. Funding's for this program was fully sponsored by the PNGCS inclusive of tuition fee, airfare accommodation and small stipends. Initially the Director of Correction made this arrangement with his PNG counterpart during his last visit there years ago. Both Officers will return to PNGCS on 15th May 2018 to undertake Phase2 that will run till 16th November 2018.
A small ceremony marked a double celebration for the Department of Correctional Services.

DBKS1Eleven officers who were recently appointed into permanent positions completed their Core Skills training and a graduation ceremony was held to mark their achievement. The eleven officers will be deployed at Port Vila Correctional Centres.

'I am very proud to see the growth of my Department's training unit,' said Director, Johnny Marango. 'We now deliver our own training using trainers drawn from our own ranks. This is a more cost-effective way of delivering training, and the training is more targeted. I congratulate not only the graduates but also our trainers – Manager Richard Bani, Principal Corrections Officers Allistair Kelly and Jesse Obed, Senior Corrections officer George Edson and Corrections Officer Seule Siri - because 
  the training they delivered was rated 'Very Good' by every one of the trainees.'
 The Ceremony was also an opportunity for handing over of two new buses to the Department.

'My Department is still young and has been very fortunate to have had assistance from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs for many years. New Zealand's recent assistance to purchase two new buses is greatly appreciated as it will significantly improve operations within our Correctional Centres,' said Mr Marango.

The buses will be deployed in Santo and Port Vila Correctional Centres.

 'The role of Correctional Services is to keep the community safe and to reduce crime by rehabilitating offenders. Since the Department was established in 2006 we have made great progress in reducing escapes and reducing re-offending. I am pleased to celebrate these two milestones as we continue with our mission for Vanuatu to be the safest country in the Pacific, and a safe place to invest and do business,' concluded Mr. Marango.
On the 13th of March 2018 a team of 3, 2 VPF (Vanuatu Police Force) PIMS (Police Information Management System) Super Users and 1 SRBJS (Stretem Rod Blong Jastis mo Sefti) Systems Officer, travelled to Tanna, to deliver and setup 5 computers and 1 scanner, as well as run a PIMS refresher training, at the Isangel Police Station.

On the 14th of March 2018, the Isangel Police Station organised a "Handover Ceremony" for the 5 new PIMS computers and 1 scanner. The ceremony participants;    
• Acting Commander, Senior Sergeant, Alfred Konmawi and his 12 police officers including 1 civilian staff;
• Pako Noah and Veloheja Tamaute, VPF (Vanuatu Police Force) PIMS (Police Information Management System) Super Users;
• Emma Scadeng, Systems Officer, SRBJS (Stretem Rod Blong Jastis mo Sefti).

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