Skip Navigation

Open Justice is Moving Forward in the Americas

La justicia abierta también avanza en las Américas

Inés SelvoodandPaula Uribe|

The International Open Justice Network (RIJA in Spanish) took part in Open Americas/America Abierta, a regional event co-hosted by OGP, ILDA and the Government of the Dominican Republic. We had the opportunity to learn from various initiatives focused on open data, access to, and innovation in justice that are taking place in the region. Below are five key takeaways to keep pushing a more open, transparent, and participatory justice forward. 

Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence in the Public Sector 

Artificial intelligence (AI) can improve the relationship between citizens and government agencies and strengthen internal processes. AI in the public sector requires an accountable use of algorithms to incorporate the open justice pillars. The Data Science for Civic Innovation program by Open Knowledge Brazil uses technology to disclose open data held by the government; in Argentina, Cambá is implementing the IA2 project, anonymizing personal data of public documents, reducing time and errors, and guaranteeing the right to privacy. Criminal court no. 10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina implemented this tool in their rulings. 

Institutional Reforms for Open Justice: The Case of Chile 

Chile’s new constitution draft includes an article to implement open justice. The constitution is still being reviewed, but Chile is a pioneer in applying one of the most important open government reforms. Constitutional open justice will guarantee elements like using clear language and facilitating judicial processes. The Supreme Court of Chile is disclosing information in simple language and developing instruments to further citizen participation

Open data, today and tomorrow 

Open data allows civil society, government, and businesses to monitor, understand and improve various aspects of the State. In terms of open justice, the judiciary of Costa Rica and the National Commission for Better Justice Delivery (CONAMAJ in Spanish) developed an open data protocol, guiding citizens on open data, its legal framework, and application. Likewise, Abriendo Datos Costa Rica is promoting initiatives focused on transparency and open data use. RIJA developed an easy-to-use interactive map that included the open data portals of Latin American judiciaries. 

Transparency and Justice

Clear procedures for access to information requests are key to transparent justice systems and to free expression and decision-making. They also allow us to understand how judges interpret constitutional rights, their sentences, and how public funds are used in the judiciary. RIJA created the Passive Transparency Index, a self-assessment tool to help understand processes and areas of opportunity in judiciaries that manage access to information requests.  

Innovation in Justice 

Innovative tools are needed to promote inclusive justice systems, and transforming justice requires new tools for streamlining, decentralization, and citizen participation. In Honduras, the pink unit collective created an open data portal for LGBTQIA+ violence that exposes the vulnerabilities this community faces. Data Civica in Mexico uses data and tools to defend human rights. Criminal court no. 13 in Buenos Aires works to bring the people closer to the justice system and build trust in the judiciary. In turn, the Court Statistics Project gathers and discloses cases of U.S. courts. 

Justice is making progress in the open government ecosystem with transformative initiatives that will keep changing the culture of all justice institutions. Now is the time to keep the momentum going and continue to promote actions that secure a future where justice is transparent, inclusive, and close to the people. 

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Content

Thumbnail for Justice in OGP

Justice in OGP

OGP works to expand responsiveness, accountability and inclusion into all systems of justice. Justice is an emerging area in open government with a growing number of potentially high impact commitments.

Thumbnail for Justice Policy Series

Justice Policy Series

The OGP Justice Policy Series is a three-part series on Access to Justice, Open Justice, and Accountability for Democratic Renewal. It aims to highlight the important synergies between justice and…

Thumbnail for Broken Links

Broken Links

How can open data help shine a light on political corruption and make political systems fairer and more inclusive? How can we further link people and data to create a…

Open Government Partnership