Access to justice tools for internally displaced persons

Internally displaced people in Azerbaijan have difficulty accessing justice. Can this be improved through innovative tools and working methods?

The challenge

Azerbaijan has a large population of internally displaced people due to the ongoing war with Armenia. These people are primarily housed in the capital Baku and the city of Sumgayit. These individuals have limited access to justice and ability to enforce their rights. This means that their housing conditions remain cramped, and they remain under the threat of eviction by the government almost constantly.

Both the nature and scale of the legal problems that this population experience is currently unknown. Until this is established, it is difficult to provide solutions. Developing effective ways of helping these individuals can significantly improve their lives, while also providing a wealth of information about what works in low-cost provision of legal services.

The response

Working with Praxis, a non-governmental organisation who provide legal aid to vulnerable individuals in Azerbaijan, tools will be developed which encapsulate the state of the art in conflict resolution. These tools will be applicable to the legal problems that internally displaced people experience.


The legal needs of both IDPs and non-IDPs in Azerbaijan will be measured through a legal needs survey. In addition, a preliminary measure of legal empowerment will be applied to both groups to examine for differences in problems and empowerment, which may lead to differences in solutions created.


Working with lawyers from Praxis, tools will be developed that encapsulate the state-of-the-art in effective, low-cost legal service provision. These tools will be made available throughout both Azerbaijan (via Praxis) and also the rest of the world via the microjustice workplace

Project details

Project Leader: Prof. Maurits Barendrecht
Duration: 2012-2014
Contact: Robert Porter


Gramatikov, Martin and Verdonschot, Jin Ho, Legal Needs of Vulnerable People: A Study in Azerbaijan, Mali, Rwanda, Egypt and Bangladesh (October 12, 2010).

Monster, Jobien, Porter, Robert B. and Barendrecht, Maurits, Dispute Resolution Practices of Legal Aid Organizations in Developing Countries (June 1, 2011). Tisco Working Paper; Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 001/2012.

Access to justice is a vital part of the UNDP mandate to reduce poverty and strengthen democratic governance. Within the broad context of justice reform, UNDP’s specific niche lies in supporting justice and related systems so that they work for those who are poor and disadvantaged.