Access to justice

Safety, security and justice

The newly modernised Correctional Services of Solomon Islands

Safety, security and justice are priorities for poor people and are associated with development outcomes. What do we know about what has – or hasn't – worked in safety, security and justice programming, and where? This updated Topic Guide for policymakers and practitioners synthesises the evidence, challenges and approaches that emerge from the literature. ...» more

Justice mechanisms and conflict dynamics in Nepal: Local perceptions and impacts

Pandey, A. et al.

Nepal is an ethnically and geographically diverse nation, where people rely on a wide range of formal and informal justice systems to resolve their disputes. This report explores community-level perceptions of these mechanisms, the current situation of access to justice among different community/ethnic groups, and the linkage between access to justice issues and local conflict ...» more

Women, business and the law 2016: Getting to equal

World Bank

Since 2009, Women, business and the law has collected data about legal restrictions on women’s entrepreneurship and employment in order to inform policy discussions and promote research on the linkages between the law and women’s economic opportunities. This report is the fourth in the series. The report includes data on seven indicators: accessing institutions, using ...» more

Social accountability in war zones – confronting local realities of law and justice

Anna Macdonald and Tim Allen

How are justice and social order administered and experienced in poor, politically fragile and conflict-affected environments? This paper argues that international policies on expanding access to justice or promoting rule of law are devised and implemented on the basis of norms and assumptions rather than on evidence and careful analysis. The development and framing of policy ...» more

Facts about security and justice challenges

Some of the global statistics included in this report are: A gap in access to justice exists for a majority of the people in the world, perhaps even as many as two thirds, according to an estimate by the Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law. Preventing and redressing violence against women and girls is now on the public policy agenda, but abuse and violence ...» more

Improving access to justice through information and communication technologies

Legal empowerment aims to enable citizens to actively use the law and shape it to their needs. Examples of awareness-raising and legal education initiatives using ICTs include: using television and radio talk shows to build links between the formal and informal justice systems; broadcasting documentaries on local television stations to promote gender equality; etc. Many ...» more

Beyond dichotomy: recognising and reconciling legal pluralism in Mali.

Erwin van Veen, Diana Goff and Thibault Van Damme

The 2012 conflict in Mali highlighted the urgent need to address a broader crisis of governance  - a defective provision of justice. This report examines how the provision of justice in Mali could  form a key part of a broad-based strategy to help the country regain the status of emerging democracy which had won it so much praise before 2012. It argues that better justice ...» more

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights in national human rights institutions

NHRIs almost unanimously take a universal human rights stance which is validated and backed up by the UN. This institutional support allows NHRIs to criticise governments for failing to support certain human rights. NHRIs often emphasise that LGBTI rights are contained within existing UN rights principles, particularly the rights to privacy, health, life, freedom from ...» more

Report of the Secretary-General on Women, Peace and Security

UN Secretary-General

This is the Secretary General’s 2013 report (S/2013/525) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). It notes there were measurable advances in all areas of the women, peace and security agenda. It stresses numerous good practices while also outlining several deficits, notably lack of women’s leadership, poor provision of resources necessary for addressing women’s rights and needs, and ...» more

Women, Custom and Access to Justice

Perspectives Africa

Largely based on presentations made during a symposium, this issue of Perspectives provides insight into some of the following country-specific challenges and controversies with regards to women’s access to justice in selected sub-Saharan African states. How does customary law, and the way in which the national legislative process is used, entrench gender inequalities, ...» more

Evidence on ‘rule of law’ aid initiatives

This report reviews the contribution of rule of law to development and poverty reduction, with evidence from aid initiatives. The first section provides a brief overview of the evidence base on the links between rule of law and development and poverty reduction. The second looks at evidence from successful aid initiatives, focusing on how interventions have contributed to rule ...» more

Poor people’s rights and successful legal actions

Key finding: Landmark rulings by South Africa’s Constitutional Court in favour of poor people’s social and economic rights since the 1990s have drawn widespread attention to the law as a tool for realising poor people’s rights and tackling the underlying systemic problems in a way that empowers individuals and communities. But while there has been broad support for using the ...» more

Access to Justice and Legal Pluralism in Fragile States: The Case of Women’s Rights

Tanja Chopra, Deborah Isser

There has been a growing trend of interest in informal justice systems, primarily based on the idea that they are more accessible and supported by local communities. However, due to a lack of guidance and best practices on how to engage informal justice systems, many practitioners operate under the assumption that its advantages outweigh any failure to comply with human rights ...» more

Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa

Mary Hallward-Driemeier, Tazeen Hasan

Strengthening the incentives and abilities to pursue opportunities expands women’s economic empowerment, and property rights are central in this process because they ensure that people can reap the benefits of their efforts. Yet despite the importance of property rights, this World Bank publication is the first study to look systematically across Sub-Saharan Africa to examine ...» more

Informal Justice Systems: Charting a Course for Human Rights-Based Engagement

Danish Institute for Human Rights

This major study seeks to identify how engagement with informal justice systems can build greater respect and protection for human rights. The study also examines the value of informal justice systems in offering, in certain contexts, flexible structures and processes, cost-effectiveness and outreach to grassroots communities. It considers the weaknesses and strengths of ...» more

Progress of the World’s Women 2011-2012: In Pursuit of Justice

UN Women

This report demonstrates that where laws and justice systems work well, they can provide an essential mechanism for women to realise their human rights. However, it also underscores the fact that, despite widespread guarantees of equality, the reality for many millions of women is that justice remains out of reach. The report highlights the practical barriers that women face ...» more

Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice

UN Women

This report explores how justice systems can be made to work for women. Where laws and justice systems work well, they can provide an essential mechanism for women to realise their human rights. However, laws and justice systems that reinforce unequal power relations must be transformed in order to fulfil the potential they hold for accelerating progress towards gender ...» more

The Political Approach to the Law and Justice Sector

Adrian Leftwich

This paper argues that law and justice need to be conceptualised as institutional matters, bound up with governance and driven by political processes: law and justice need to be understood not as a ‘sector’, but as central to processes of institutional development and therefore of governance for development. The strategic goal in law and justice must be to help facilitate a ...» more

Development, Climate Change and Human Rights: From the Margins to the Mainstream?

Edward Cameron

What are the social and political implications of a discourse linking climate change and human rights? How is this discourse relevant for development practitioners? The human rights lens has rapidly emerged from obscurity to prominence and has succeeded in broadening the scope of climate change debate. This paper predicts that vulnerable groups worldwide will increasingly use ...» more

World Development Report 2011: Overview

World Bank

Some 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of political and criminal violence. This report argues that breaking these cycles involves a) strengthening legitimate national institutions and governance to meet citizens' key needs; and b) alleviating international stresses that increase the risks of conflict (such as food price volatility and infiltration ...» more