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Justice

OGP works to expand responsiveness, accountability and inclusion into all systems of justice. For members of OGP, justice is a popular policy area for reform that has become an even greater priority in recent years.

Overview | Recommendations | Partners | Documents | Commitments | Recent Posts

Overview

The justice system is one of the primary ways members of the public protect their rights and hold their governments to account. Law impacts nearly every aspect of life, including health, employment, education, housing, and public safety. 

Yet, according to research from the World Justice Project, two-thirds of the world’s population lack meaningful access to justice, with disproportionate impacts on the marginalized and poor. In high- and upper middle-income OGP countries, housing, consumer, and financial problems are the most common legal problems. In less affluent OGP countries, problems of basic documentation and services are significantly more common.  

In many countries, citizens may be met by opaque legal processes, unaffordable legal help, or discriminatory practices that prevent them from obtaining equal access to justice. Issues of judicial fairness and independence must also be addressed through increased transparency and accountability. 

Investing in open and accessible justice institutions allows citizens to better defend their rights, demand access to public services, and protect their ability to participate in democratic processes. National-level institutions, such Ministries of Justice, as well as institutions at the ground level, such as court systems and legal assistance organizations, all have a role to play in delivering justice services and should be engaged in designing solutions to people’s justice problems. 

While OGP members have made commitments to advance progress on justice-related priorities since the founding of OGP in 2011, this has increased since the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda and the emphasis on Goal 16’s call for equal justice for all. 

OGP is bringing together a coalition of members and civil society organizations to further this engagement, share best practices and develop new commitments. 

Recommendations

Access to Justice

  • Measure legal needs and resource availability using surveys, and publish the results. Canada published the findings of the 2021 Canadian Legal Problems Survey, based on self-reported serious problems or disputes experienced by people living in Canada’s provinces in the three years prior to the survey.
  • Improve legal capability by improving access to information on legal resources and supporting alternatives to courts. Kenya’s 2020 commitment seeks to improve citizens’ access to justice by increasing access to alternative or informal justice institutions and processes.
  • Ensure access to legal help by expanding legal aid, especially in underserved communities. North Macedonia established access to justice centers in partnership with civil society to improve access to justice for marginalized groups.
  • Strengthen justice processes through plain language initiatives, specialized courts, and judicial training. JusLab in Buenos Aires is working with judges at local courts to pilot models for judicial decisions using plain language tools.
  • Continuously evaluate justice outcomes, especially of high-priority areas and populations.

Open Justice 

  • Publish accessible and standardized court data, including case information and operational measurements. Colombia’s Transparency and Accountability Commission began publishing court data and information, including court memoranda and decisions, information about the court’s officials, and the court’s agenda.
  • Ensure transparency of judicial appointments, and take steps to ensure judicial accountability and independence. The Slovak Republic used its 2017 action plan to help address weak judicial independence and a lack of public trust in judicial decisions.
  • To improve quality of legal aid, train providers, publicize means test for eligibility, report annually on access, and make budgets transparent.

Justice as a Means to Enforce Open Government 

  • Ensure grievance mechanisms exist and are open and accessible for all procedural and substantive rights. 
  • Train justice sector officials regularly on how to evaluate cases on issues with which they might be unfamiliar, including right to information, tax and equity, and climate change and environmental issues.

Partnerships and Coalitions


Resources

  1. Justice_Fact Sheet_Sept2023_EN

    2023, Document, PDF

  2. OGP Policy Progress Report - Justice

    2021, Document, PDF

  3. Taking Action for Justice: The Justice for All Movement and the Open Government Partnership

    Explore how justice has become one of the most popular policy areas for new commitments across OGP and see why…

    2021, Outbound Link, Web Page

  4. A Clear Commitment to Justice

    Justice has become one of the most popular policy areas across the Partnership and the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) has…

    2021, Perspective, Web Page

  5. Community Justice: Putting People First

    From community-based justice centers to alternative justice systems rooted in culture and tradition, learn why community justice models are great…

    2021, Perspective, Web Page

  6. Access to Justice Offices Leading on Justice in OGP

    As the OGP community has prioritized justice as a theme within the Partnership, OGP member governments have increasingly identified focal…

    2021, Resource, Web Page

  7. From the Global to the Local: Leveraging International Engagement to Advance Justice at Home

    Learn how the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice leveraged international mechanisms and processes to advance its…

    2020, Outbound Link, Web Page

  8. Justice Policy Series, Part II: Open Justice

    Explore how applying the principles of open government can create fairer and more effective justice systems.

    2020, Research Product, Web Page

  9. Asia-Pacific Justice For All Webinar Series (Recordings)

    In an effort to close the justice gap, justice leaders across sectors in the Asia-Pacific region came together to share…

    2020, Outbound Link, Web Page

  10. Open Justice Reforms During a Pandemic: Lessons and Challenges from Latin America and the Caribbean (Webinar Recording)

    As justice systems in Latin America face severe and complex problems worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, OGP and Red Internacional…

    2020, Outbound Link, Web Page

  11. Global Dialogue of Justice Leaders: Justice for All for a Fair, Resilient, and Inclusive Response

    Justice leaders from around the world came together to discuss strategies and plans to increase justice as part of COVID-19…

    2020, Outbound Link, Web Page

  12. OGP Coalition on Justice

    The OGP Coalition on Justice is a group of OGP members, civil society organizations, and other national and international partners…

    2020, , Web Page

  13. Transparency and Accountability at the Frontlines of Justice

    The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many other Black Americans have brought to light systemic…

    2020, Research Product, Web Page

  14. A Guide to Open Government and the Coronavirus: Justice

    People can encounter justice problems in nearly every aspect of life, including health, employment, education, housing and public safety. Even…

    2020, Guidance Document, Web Page

  15. Webinar: Using OGP to Advance Access to Justice Reforms

    Learn how access to justice reforms can be advanced through the OGP platform.

    2019, , Web Page

  16. Justice Policy Series, Part I: Access to Justice

    Explore how justice reformers can better connect with OGP and its processes as a strategy to implement change.

    2019, Research Product, Web Page

  17. Implementing SDG16+ Through the Open Government Partnership

    The challenge of building peaceful, just and inclusive societies is at the heart of the SDGs and OGP can be…

    2019, Perspective, Web Page

  18. Global Insights on Access to Justice

    From World Justice Project, 2019

    2019, Outbound Link, Web Page

  19. Measuring the Justice Gap: A People-Centered Assessment of Unmet Justice Needs Around the World

    From World Justice Project, 2019

    2019, Outbound Link, Web Page

  20. Legal Needs Surveys and Access to Justice

    From OECD and Open Society Justice Initiative, 2019

    2019, Outbound Link, Web Page

  21. Report: Justice for All

    From the Task Force on Justice, 2019

    2019, Outbound Link, Web Page

  22. Equal Access to Justice for Inclusive Growth Putting People at the Centre

    From OECD, 2019

    2019, Outbound Link, Web Page

  23. Open Justice: An Innovation-Driven Agenda for Inclusive Societies (2019)

    From Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina

    2019, Outbound Link, Web Page

  24. Opening justice: Access to justice, open judiciaries, and legal empowerment through the Open Government Partnership

    2018, Resource, Web Page

  25. Open Government: A Platform for Access to Justice

    When people think of open government, they frequently think of open data, transparency, and anti-corruption - not necessarily a fair…

    2017, Perspective, Web Page

  26. Towards Open Judiciary: “Achieving Open Justice through Citizen Participation and Transparency”

    Open government initiatives have become a defining goal for public administrators around the world. However, progress is still necessary outside…

    2016, , Web Page

  27. OGP and the 2030 Agenda: Moving beyond the Joint Declaration

    The role of open government in advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was a major theme of the Open…

    2015, , Web Page

  28. n/a, Post, Web Page

  29. , Document,


Commitments


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