A report by the IBA Legal Policy and Research Unit and the Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee: Legal Expenses Insurance and Access to Justice. This report provides a cross-border analysis of nine jurisdictions in which legal expenses insurance – a potential mechanism to improve access to justice for the “forgotten environment” – is available to individuals, and examines barriers to increased implementation, adoption and use of the LEI in case study jurisdictions where the LEI market is limited. A year ago, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, threatening the hard-won human rights and women`s rights gains of the ILF`s dedicated defenders over the past two decades. Much of the public discourse has focused on evacuations and those who have left Afghanistan, but millions of Afghans remain in the country, including ILF lawyers who are fighting on the front lines of justice. The Committee on Access to Justice and Legal Aid aims to gather information from around the world on obstacles to access to justice in each jurisdiction and how these obstacles are overcome, with a focus on legal arrangements such as legal aid and its findings published with reports and events, exchange and disseminate best practices. The International Conference on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems will be held from 14 to 18 September. September, hold a special virtual session on legal aid in the context of COVID-19 to continue to make progress on equal access to justice for all, as set out in the 2030 Agenda, and to strengthen access to quality legal aid services for the poor and vulnerable. Since 2014, we have brought together hundreds of judicial stakeholders from more than 50 countries. Another UNODC partner, Sabrina Mahtani, co-founder and board member of AdvocAid Sierra Leone, which, among other things, provides free legal assistance to women and girls in conflict with the law in Sierra Leone, stressed the need to strengthen the legal empowerment of women and girls. To combat gender discrimination in criminal justice systems and prisons, she recommended sharing stories of women affected by the justice system with policymakers to raise awareness and promote political engagement.
Criminal justice continues to have a disproportionate impact on sectors of society living in poverty and/or marginalized. A typical example of bias and active targeting by policymakers around the world is found in black and marginalized ethnic communities that continue to be over-represented in these systems. In countries around the world, steps have accelerated to reform national laws that criminalize people for who they are, rather than what they have done, through trials and legal reforms. This upcoming CPPCJ side event provides an opportunity for key institutional and civil society actors to set clear objectives and determined actions needed to continue the work of decriminalizing poverty and status. Access to justice is at the heart of guaranteeing children`s rights, but legal systems often make it difficult, if not impossible, for children to obtain redress for violations. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – in particular Goal 16 – have the potential to make an important contribution to eradicating child poverty and improving the support and protection of children through the justice system and the rule of law. This paper shows how lawyers involved in advocacy, legislative reform, drafting new laws, legal education, and providing legal assistance and representation have an excellent opportunity to support and contribute to the empowerment of children in cycles of poverty. Established in 2014 to assist experts in implementing the UN Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems, which call on every state to establish a legal aid system accessible to all without discrimination.
The 2020 edition of ILAC was hosted by the Office of the Public Defender of the State of Rio de Janeiro in collaboration with UNODC, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Legal Foundation (ILF) and the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI). It concludes that the right of children to participate actively in decisions that affect them remains a challenge. The report also highlights the important role played by independent redress mechanisms and draws attention to recent progress in recognizing the special needs of children when they come into contact with the justice system. Throughout the week, experts shared knowledge and ideas on what mutual legal assistance providers can do to support communities and address systemic discrimination, and agreed that the need to expand access to justice under Sustainable Development Goal 16 is more urgent than ever. We invite all participants to join us on Monday the 14th. September, online, when we open the conference with inspiring speakers from around the world coming together right now as a legal aid provider in the midst of COVID-19. We encourage participants to participate in at least one online panel per day from Tuesday to Thursday. These sessions take place interactively and in a meeting style, so we can offer an opportunity for small group discussions and allow for broad participation across multiple time zones. On Friday, 18 September, we invite all participants to meet again in plenary as we report and call for concrete action to increase justice for all in the future. Building on the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and taking into account the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda, the report includes a comprehensive field review and analysis of systemic barriers and solutions to the functioning of criminal, civil and administrative justice systems. The research team and the committee conducted an international survey of IBA networks to examine the extent to which individuals and groups from different countries are able to use formal and informal justice systems, legal services and dispute resolution mechanisms to solve their judicial problems, and to examine how different barriers affect different populations and whether they are more relevant in certain sectors of the justice systems. It examines how ombudsman services have become an important feature of legal systems in many jurisdictions, moving from an instrument of constitutional accountability to an independent complaints mechanism widely used in the private sector.
The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law conducted the research and wrote the report with input and input from the committee. The report “International Access to Justice: Barriers and Solutions” was presented at the IBA 2014 Conference in Tokyo. The report examines barriers to access to justice in all jurisdictions and practices that have attempted to overcome these barriers. Elena Abbati, National Director of UNODC`s Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil, highlighted in her welcoming remarks that efforts are being made around the world to ensure equal access to fair and effective justice and social protection services – including the adoption of strategies to reduce the risks of COVID-19 in overcrowded prisons – and to prevent violations of the rights of vulnerable people.