The World Justice Project has published its first Global Insights on Access to Justice report, which presents comparable data on experiences of everyday legal problems and access to justice by people around the globe. The report highlights a range of noteworthy findings, including the pervasiveness and frequency of civil justice problems worldwide and that most people do not go to courts or seek legal assistance from lawyers when trying to resolve their problems.
Based on surveys carried out in more than a 100 countries, the report found that almost half –49%— of people experienced at least one legal problem within the last two years. Overall, the most common types of problems were consumer problems, housing problems, and problems related to money and debt. The Global Insights report also emphasizes the adverse impacts of legal problems on peoples’ physical and mental health, as well as the significant access to justice barriers that people face when trying to deal with their legal problems.
The data in Global Insights report derives from the World Justice Project’s General Population Poll (GPP), which was carried out in 101 countries and jurisdictions in 2017 and 2018 with a sample of 1,000 respondents in each country (and over 100,000 people worldwide).
Global Insights on Access to Justice 2019 is available on the World Justice Project website here: https://worldjusticeproject.org/our-work/research-and-data/global-insights-access-justice-2019.
A new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Open Society Foundations provides a framework for the development, implementation and evaluation of legal needs surveys to measure access to civil justice. Tools and indicators to assess aspects of civil justice systems have been slow to develop, in particular when compared to criminal justice systems. The newly published Legal Needs Surveys and Access to Justice report offers guidance to create and assess legal needs surveys that is based in learnings and best practices gleaned from a review of more than 20 years of legal needs surveys carried out throughout the world
The three, central dimensions of access to justice that form the bases of the evaluative legal needs framework in the report include:
- The nature and extent of unmet legal and justice needs;
- The impact of unmet legal and justice needs on individuals, the community and the state; and
- How specific models of legal assistance and dispute resolution are utilised to meet needs.
The Legal Needs Surveys and Access to Justice report is available online here: https://www.oecd.org/governance/legal-needs-surveys-and-access-to-justice-g2g9a36c-en.htm.
Leaders from more than 50 justice organizations in British Columbia have signed on to support the newly launched Access to Justice Triple Aim initiative. Endorsing Triple Aim signifies a commitment to working to improve access to civil and family justice in BC in three important ways:
- Improving access to justice at the population (or sub-population) level
- Improving the experience of users who need access to justice
- Improving costs, which includes reducing costs in other sectors because of the benefits of improved access to justice
Access to Justice Triple Aim was convened by Access to Justice BC, a network of justice sector organizations and stakeholders and members of the public connected by a shared vision to advance access to justice in BC. The Triple Aim concept originates from the healthcare sector where improvements in the US healthcare system have similarly been coordinated around three goals – health, cost and care.
The press release for the Access to Justice Triple Aim initiative is available on the Access to Justice BC website here: https://accesstojusticebc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Cross-sector-justice-agreement.pdf. Additional information is also available here: https://accesstojusticebc.ca/2019/06/the-triple-aim-a-cross-sector-vision/ and in a Slaw blog published here: http://www.slaw.ca/2019/06/13/over-50-justice-organizations-agree-to-a-common-access-to-justice-goal-that-puts-user-experience-at-the-centre/.