Highlights from the journey to People-centred justice in 2023: Our Annual Report is live

In 2023, we saw ministries of justice and judiciaries across the world acknowledge the need to respond to the fact that far too many people who have a justice problem do not get a solution. One minister we spoke to called this a ‘state of emergency.’ Our 2023 Annual Report details what we have been doing to support them.

We are pleased to announce the release of our Annual Report 2023. This comprehensive report details what we have been doing to support Ministries of Justice and Judiciaries in implementing people-centred justice programmes. It highlights our impact and learnings, shows where we have worked, the progress made, and the insights gained in our ongoing journey as we put the people-centred justice approach into practice.

Some highlights include:

Ethiopia: Justice Sector Transformation
We are a core partner in Ethiopia’s ambitious Three-Year Justice Sector Transformational Plan (2023-2025), which aims to make justice more affordable, accessible, and easy to understand. One of the 10 pillars of the plan revolves around scaling up community justice platforms, based on, among other best practices, a successful customary court model in the Oromia region which has been processing an average of 376,000 cases each year for the past two years for a total population of 45 million people. At the request of the Ethiopian Government, we are partnering with experts from the Ministry of Justice and the Oromia Legal Training and Research Institute to assess whether the Oromia example is an effective and replicable model to increase resolution and prevention rates at the community level.

Nigeria: Justice Innovation Labs
In Imo and Ogun States, Justice Innovation Labs brought together diverse justice stakeholders to collaboratively develop sustainable solutions to legal problems. This resulted in a one-stop-shop offering tailored support for domestic violence survivors and the creation of a Community Justice Centre model. Both state governments have allocated funds in their 2024 budgets to pilot these initiatives, demonstrating a proactive approach to people-centred justice.

Tunisia: Employment Justice Platform
In Tunisia we facilitated and supported a process for the Presidency of Government, the Ministry of Justice, the Bar Association and the General Directorate of Labour Inspection to innovatively address employment justice issues. This led to designing an innovative online platform that helps employees and employers understand and resolve disputes. The platform is based on insights from our Justice Needs and Satisfaction survey.

The Netherlands: Criminal Justice Reform
In the Netherlands, we are building a movement to reform the criminal justice system. We convened professionals from various sectors to create a more effective and socially relevant system. The discussions have provided insights into shared goals, pressing bottlenecks, and broad solutions and strategies, all paving the way for sustainable change.

Our annual report also highlights support for justice providers in Burkina Faso, Colombia, Iraq, Kenya, Niger, and Uganda.

« The central message of 2023 is that our responses to the access to justice challenge are becoming more concrete and now need to scale. The OECD Recommendation provides a roadmap for this. We need ministries of justice and judiciaries to set clear targets and create an enabling environment for people-centred justice services. We must empower people to access and participate in delivering better justice outcomes. Solid monitoring and evaluation are crucial, and we need the necessary funding to support these efforts. » — Sam Muller, CEO of HiiL

Lessons Learned and Future Directions
We also share what we have learned, asking:

  • How can we make our data more actionable?
  • What can we do more to enhance evidence-based working?
  • How can we help overcome the challenge that most innovation initiatives find it difficult to scale?
  • Can we develop better budgeting frameworks for ministries, judiciaries, and funders to support people-centred justice work?

The lessons and changes shared are significant, but there is still work to be done. We stand ready to continue supporting ministries of justice and judiciaries as they lead crucial endeavours to realise people-centred justice.

Further Reading