On February 7, 2019 in The Hague, Hina Jilani and Mary Robinson launched The Elders’ new Access to Justice Program, a key component of its new Strategic Plan for the period of 2018-22. Watch Namati CEO Vivek Maru sit down with Hina Jilani for a wide-ranging discussion on this new program.
After being approached by the Pathfinders Task Force on Justice a few years prior, The Elders’ agreed to prioritize building a new global norm in which legal empowerment is understood to be part of a robust access to justice system – an important acknowledgment that there can be no sustainable development without peace, justice, and inclusion.
The Access to Justice Program emphasizes the need to close the global justice gap through all sectors in society taking responsibility to deliver access to justice to the most vulnerable individuals and communities. As part of this program, The Elders will engage directly with heads of state and policymakers to amplify the voices of grassroots activists and civil society, and catalyze necessary actions to deliver justice for all.
In the Access to Justice Position Paper, The Elders outline four key recommendations:
- Delivering access to justice is critical to the full implementation of SDG16 and the wider 2030 Development Agenda;
- Legal Systems must be reformed and modernized so they are responsive, innovative, inclusive, people-centered and uphold human rights;
- Independent legal support, such as community-based paralegals, should be supported to help citizens navigate systems and find practical, timely solutions;
- Violence against women and girls must be addressed urgntly as a profound global injustice, by political, traditional and religious leaders.