Task Force on Justice Report Explores the Global Justice Gap

“Justice for All”, a new report by the Task Force on Justice published in April 2019, explores the global justice gap and, in particular, the impacts on poor and marginalized peoples. The report proposes a people-centered approach to justice, which starts with an understanding of people’s justice needs and designs solutions to respond accordingly. The Task Force identifies a global justice gap with three dimensions:

  • At least 253 million people live in extreme conditions of injustice
  • 5 billion people cannot resolve their everyday justice problems
  • 5 billion people are excluded from the opportunities the law provides

Overall, two-thirds of the world’s population lack meaningful access to justice. The report notes that the burden of this injustice is not randomly distributed across populations. Structural inequalities are reflected in the justice gap, meaning that vulnerable groups find it hardest to access justice. The report also discusses the benefits of investing in justice, makes recommendations for action and calls on all partners to come together in a global and sustained effort to deliver justice for all by 2030.

“Justice for All”, the report of the Task Force on Justice is available online here: https://cic.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/task_force_on_justice_report_conf_version_29apr19_1_1_1_compressed.pdf .

A “Justice for All” fact sheet, press release and graphics are available here: https://www.justice.sdg16.plus/report.

Global Report on Justice for Women Highlights Critical Concerns for Women and Girls

The Task Force on Justice is an initiative by the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies that aims to contribute to better justice outcomes for people and communities throughout the world. The Task Force’s High-Level Group on Justice for Women (HLG) was formed to build a better understanding of, and present evidence on justice problems that uniquely and disproportionately affect women and girls. The High-Level Group’s primary objectives are:

  • Measuring the justice gap for women and girls
  • Making the case for action and investment in access to justice for women and girls
  • Identifying strategies, approaches, and reforms for increasing access to justice
  • Determining what commitments national and local actors can make to close the justice gap, along with what cooperation is needed between international and regional actors to support access to justice at the national level

Justice, human rights and gender experts from all over the world recently worked together for the High-level Group’s global report on Justice for Women which identifies women’s justice needs and the challenges facing women worldwide. The report also presents an economic case for reform and investment in justice for women, identifies actions that can be taken to accelerate progress, and presents a call to action based on several major directions that could significantly accelerate progress toward justice for women.

“Justice for Women: High-Level Group Report” can be found here: https://www.idlo.int/sites/default/files/pdfs/publications/Justice-for-Women_report-web-FINAL.pdf.

The Justice for Women Executive Summary and Infographics can be accessed here: https://www.idlo.int/publications/justice-women-high-level-group-report.

National Action Committee Publishes New Report on Canada’s Progress on Justice Development Goals

A recently released report by the national Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters (Action Committee) offers insights into new developments, research, initiatives and other efforts that are contributing to improvements in access to justice in Canada. This report represents the most recent review by the Action Committee of Canada’s progress on nine goals that are deemed essential for better access to justice. The report tracks achievements during 2018 using the Justice Development Goals as a common framework for coordinating efforts, sharing innovations, and measuring progress on access to justice.

Canada’s nine Justice Development Goals are to:

  • Address Everyday Legal Problems
  • Meet Legal Needs
  • Make Courts Work Better
  • Improve Family Justice
  • Work Together
  • Build Capacity
  • Innovate
  • Analyze and Learn
  • Improve Funding Strategies

The new Action Committee report, “Working Toward Accessible Justice: Tracking Progress on the JDGs in 2018” is available online in English here: http://www.justicedevelopmentgoals.ca/sites/default/files/2018jdgsworkingtorwardsa2jreport.pdf.

Vous pouvez télécharger << Travaillent pour une justice accessible : Suivi des progrès réalisés sur les objectifs de développement en matière de justice au Canada en 2018 >> ici : http://www.justicedevelopmentgoals.ca/sites/default/files/2018ojdstravaillentpoura2jrapport.pdf.

Learn more about the Justice Development Goals here: http://www.justicedevelopmentgoals.ca/goals.

Pour plus d’informations sur les objectifs de développement en matière de justice, cliquez ici : http://www.justicedevelopmentgoals.ca/fr.

UVic’s Access to Justice Centre for Excellence Publishes New Reports that Explore Key Learnings for Enhanced Empirical Justice Research

What can the province of British Columbia learn from initiatives in other jurisdictions about enhancing justice data quality and expanding empirical research, evaluation and measurement? The “Learning from Justice Metrics Models in Other Jurisdictions” report produced by Tim Roberts and Associates Consulting for the University of Victoria Access to Justice Centre for Excellence (UVic ACE) looks at initiatives that offer insight on conducting empirical justice research. The report includes findings from Australia, the United States, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Canada on how different initiatives have enhanced data quality, driven data sharing, and facilitated an expanded research and evaluation agenda. “Learning from Justice Metrics Models in Other Jurisdictions” is available on the UVic ACE website here: https://ajrndotco.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/2a1cb-acejusticemetricsmodelsinotherjurisdictions-feb2019.pdf.


UVic ACE’s “A Supreme Lack of Information” report published in March, 2019 explores the lack of information available on civil cases initiated in B.C.’s Supreme Court. This study is a follow up to a 2015 study published by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) that found significant information gaps in court records in B.C.’s Supreme Court. The report identifies the purpose of this new study by UVic ACE as:

  • To identify the challenges encountered in conducting the CFCJ ‘Attrition Study’, and explore their significance
  • Consider what changes would need to be made to data collection processes in the B.C. Supreme Court in order to better answer the original study’s questions and meet the research objectives, and to provide a high level plan for such changes, and
  • Identify any legal, financial or administrative problems or complications that would be encountered in making such changes to the system

The “A Supreme Lack of Information” study was carried out by Tim Roberts and Associates Consulting for UVic ACE. It is available on the UVic ACE website here: https://ajrndotco.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/48fa3-attritionfollow-upreport-feb2019.pdf.

New Report Examines Legal Aid Service Delivery in British Columbia

A new report that explores ways to improve legal aid service delivery in British Columbia is now available. The report is based on an external review and consultations with the public, carried out in Fall 2018. This recently published report examines ways to make service delivery more efficient and user-friendly for B.C. residents and includes 25 recommendations. Roads to Revival, An External Review of Legal Aid Service Delivery in British Columbia was conducted for the Attorney General of B.C. by Jamie Maclaren, QC. It is available online here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Roads_to_Revival-Maclaren_Legal_Aid_Review-25FEB19.pdf.

2019 World Justice Project Rule of Law Index Now Available

The World Justice Project has published its annual report on adherence to rule of law worldwide. The 2019 World Justice Project Rule of Law Index includes data gathered through expert surveys carried out in more than 120 countries. The eight categories for rule of law performance for the countries included in the Index are:

  • Constraints on Government Powers
  • Absence of Corruption
  • Open Government
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Order and Security
  • Regulatory Enforcement
  • Civil Justice; and
  • Criminal Justice

Overall, the measure for “Constraints on Government Powers” showed a marked decline globally, signalling a troubling rise in authoritarianism. “Criminal Justice” also saw a significant decline over the past year followed by “Open Government” and “Fundamental Rights.” Highlights from the new World Justice Project Rule of Law Index are available in the Press Release here: https://worldjusticeproject.org/news/wjp-rule-law-index-2019-global-press-release. The 2019 Rule of Law Index can be downloaded from the World Justice Project website here: https://worldjusticeproject.org/our-work/publications/rule-law-index-reports/wjp-rule-law-index-2019.

Measuring Unmet Legal Need Across the World

A recently published “Measuring the Justice Gap” methodological paper by the World Justice Project and the Task Force on Justice highlights the urgency of addressing the global access to justice gap, a problem that currently sees an estimated 5 billion worldwide with unmet legal needs.  The paper discusses categories of justice need, presents the objectives and principles guiding the assessment of the justice gap, and offers details on question design, methods and definitions included in the justice gap measurement framework. “Measuring the Justice Gap” is available online here: https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/Measuring%20the%20Justice%20Gap_WJP%20Update_Feb2019_Final-updated_0.pdf.

New Report Highlights Role of Innovation in Bridging Justice Gap

The international Task Force on Justice is an initiative that launched in 2018 to help tackle the global access to justice crisis – a problem that currently sees more than four billion people around the world living outside the protection of the law. This week, the Task Force’s Innovation Working Group published “Innovating Justice: Needed & Possible”, a report that explores ways that innovation can help to address unmet legal needs, the investment possibilities that justice innovation provides, and parameters for increasing and improving justice innovation in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.3 – equal access to justice for all.  The report offers examples of new technologies as well as technological upgrades that can help to advance access to justice and also calls for financing justice innovation.

“Innovating Justice: Needed & Possible”, the report of the Innovation Working Group of the Task Force on Justice is available online here: https://www.hiil.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Report-of-the-Innovation-Working-Group-of-the-Task-Force-on-Justice.pdf.

UK Ministry of Justice Publishes Post-Implementation Reviews of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO)

The UK’s Ministry of Justice has published post-implementation reviews of Parts 1 and 2 of the the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).  Part 1 of LASPO, which came into effect in 2013, deals with reforms to the scope of, eligibility for, and fees that fall within the ambit of legal aid in England Wales. Part 2 is concerned with reducing the costs of civil litigation and rebalancing the costs liabilities between claimants and defendants while ensuring that parties with a valid case are still able to bring or defend a claim.

At the introduction of the reforms to LASPO, the Government at the time committed to conducting post-implementation reviews to determine the impact of the changes relative to their objectives. Though the reviews have come under criticism from the Bar Council, among others, the Ministry of Justice has indicated that they are content with reports’ findings and do not plan to recommend amendments to the legislation.

Post-Implementation Review of Part 1 of LASPO is available online here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/777038/post-implementation-review-of-part-1-of-laspo.pdf.

Post-Implementation Review of Part 2 of LASPO is available online here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/777039/post-implementation-review-of-part-2-of-laspo.pdf.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Publishes Issue on Access to Justice Crisis

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ quarterly journal, Dædalus, recently dedicated an entire issue to America’s access to justice crisis. The issue, which is available online for free, was edited by Lincoln Caplan, Lance Malcolm Liebman, and Rebecca L. Sandefur. This first-of-its-kind open access issue on access to justice by the well-known U.S. journal includes twenty-four essays by researchers, professors, access to justice advocates and others. The essays examine a range of civil legal services issues being faced by low-income Americans, various barriers to creating a responsive justice system, and opportunities for improving access to justice through technology, innovation and new approaches. The Dædalus issue on access to justice is available here: https://www.amacad.org/daedalus/access-to-justice.