The Benefits of Access to Justice for Economies, Societies, and the Social Contract: A Literature Review
This paper is part of the background research for the Skeptic’s Guide to Open Government (2022 Edition). Mark Weston developed it with guidance from Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies.
“Access to justiceAccessible justice systems – both formal and informal – ensure that individuals and communities with legal needs know where to go for help, obtain the help they need, and move through a system tha... More” has traditionally been defined as access to the formal justiceTo address barriers that prevent citizens from having their justice needs met, OGP participating governments are working to expand transparency, accountability, and inclusion into all systems of justi... system in the shape of lawyers, courts, and the police. In recent years, however, the work of groups such as the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies; the Task Force on Justice; the Open Government PartnershipThe Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, ensuring opportunities for citizen participation in public matters, and strengthen... More (OGP); and others has helped broaden this definition.“Access to justice,” as a recent letter from the justice ministers of 16 countries to the United Nations Secretary-General put it, “is best understood as the ability of people to resolve and prevent their justice problems, and to use justice as a platform to participate in their economies and societies.”
This literature review of the benefits of access to justice is the result of a collaboration between the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies and OGP. Aimed at high-level government officials and leaders of civil society organisations working in the justice field, it forms part of the background research for OGP’s second Skeptic’s Guide to Open Government. The review adopts a broad view of access to justice, assessing the impacts of improved and expanded provision of justice services—both formal and informal—on economies, societies, and the social contract.
Read the full paper below.
- The Benefits of Access to Justice for Economies, Societies, and the Social Contract: A Literature Review
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