Rule of Law & Security Sector Reform

Who we are

In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2677 (2023), the Rule of Law Advisory Section (RoLAS) advances the Mission’s three-year strategic vision defined in Resolution 2567 (2021) to prevent a return to civil war in South Sudan; to build durable peace at the local and national levels; and to support inclusive and accountable governance and free, fair, and peaceful elections in accordance with the Revitalised Peace Agreement. Specifically, RoLAS supports South Sudan to strengthen the protection of civilians through restoration and reform of the rule of law and justice sector, to combat impunity and promote accountability; security sector transformation; community violence reduction (CVR) initiatives; and support for legal reform and oversight.

What we do 

Through our Justice and Corrections, Legal Reform and Oversight, and Security Sector Reform and Community Violence Reduction teams, we:

  • Support the deployment of accountability mechanisms tailored to leverage local peace arrangements as part of integrated Mission responses to subnational violence;
  • Support national authorities to restore the presence of rule of law actors in priority locations and strengthen linkages along the rule of law chain, including the judiciary, prosecutors, and the prison system;
  • Assist the development of strategies for community violence reduction (CVR) and strengthen the capacity of civilian and military justice actors to respond to and prevent sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV);
  • Support security sector transformation through the full, equal and meaningful participation of women, and meaningful, diverse and effective engagement of civil society, youth, and other marginalized groups; and through engagement with relevant national and subnational entities, parliamentary oversight committees, as well as security forces and institutions, including components of military justice;
  • Support increased access to justice, including through legal reforms, access to laws, and improved public oversight.

Our recent work

Justice and Corrections:

  • Deployed Justice and Corrections Advisers to nine out of ten States to improve access to justice and strengthen linkages along the justice chain, including through nationally owned mechanisms such as technical working groups and prison development committees.
  • Enhanced military justice mechanisms, including support for the deployments of mobile General Courts Martial, including to Wau, Yei, Bentiu, Torit and Maridi  and supported the implementation of the June 2021 Joint Action Plan for the Armed Forces on addressing CRSV..
  • Supported the deployment of the Joint Special Mobile Court (JSMC) for Western Bhar el Ghazal and Warrap States to adjudicate livestock-related violence and mitigate related conflict.
  • Facilitated the deployment of a circuit court to Raja to adjudicate cases for the first time in six years.
  • Promoted accountability for serious and ordinary crimes, as well as access to justice for victims through the deployment of mobile courts, including to Rumbek, Yambio, Tonj, Bentiu and Malakal.
  • Supported the National Prison Service (NPS) in developing and implementing a three-year Strategic Development
  • Plan.
  • Supported the NPS in building capacity to provide induction training to staff who will enter the NPS through the Necessary Unified Forces.


Security Sector Reform and Community Violence Reduction:

  • Supported implementation of the peace agreement’s provisions for the national development of a Security Sector Transformation Roadmap and White Paper on Defence and Security.
  • Supported the R-TNLA's Specialized Committee for Defence and Veterans’ Affairs to exercise parliamentary oversight on a range of defence issues, including civil-military relations, defence sector pension systems and defence budgeting and finance.
  • In partnership with the World Food Programme and other organizations, initiated and implemented an RSRTF-funded community violence reduction (CVR) project in Jonglei and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
  • Advanced consensus among diplomatic partners and the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (NDDRC) to initiate a CVR project with ex-combatants in Wau, funded by France and implemented by UNDP.
  • Successfully advocated for South Sudan’s inclusion as a pilot country for SALIENT funding to support South Sudan’s Voluntary Civilian Disarmament Strategy (VCDS) to address the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons, in partnership with UNDP, UNPOL, and UNMAS.
  • In partnership with the Gender Affairs Unit, supported the development of security sector women’s networks in South Sudan’s security services, and their engagement with South Sudanese women’s civil society organizations.


Legal Reform and Oversight:

  • Provided technical assistance and support to Ministries, R-TNLA, the National Constitutional Amendment Committee, the Law Review Commission, the Judicial Reforms Committee, the Anticorruption Commission, and other key oversight institutions to promote key legislative and institutional reforms.
  • Worked with Ministries, independent commissions, justice actors, security institutions, civil society, lawyers, and legal academics to develop a national framework to govern victim/witness protection.
  • Supported the Parliamentary Committee on Lands and Physical Infrastructure in the development of the National Land Policy.
  • Supported the implementation of the peace agreement, in coordination with IGAD and UNDP, through planning of consultations of the Judicial Review Committee (JRC).
  • Assisted national authorities to conduct assessments, develop institutional strategies and participate at international working groups on transparency and accountability.


National ministries, such as the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ministry of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs, and Ministry of the Interior; national and state-level justice chain actors; national and state law enforcement agencies such as SSNPS and NPSSS; relevant commissions and committees; national and state legislative bodies; national and international non-governmental organizations; civil society; traditional authorities; UN Agencies, Funds, and Programmes; regional and international institutions, including the African Union (AU), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC); as well as the diplomatic community.