Channelling people’s voices into Mali’s justice system

For English please see below.

Maintenant les utilisateurs de justice peuvent être entendus

Nous avons lancé aujourd’hui un nouveau rapport sur les besoins et la satisfaction en matière de justice à Mali. En coopération avec le ministère de la Justice du Mali, nous avons conçu cette deuxième enquête afin de suivre les progrès accomplis dans les travaux d’amélioration de l’accès du Malien à la justice. Nous avons aussi développé des indicateurs nouveau pour Mali et ODD 16.3.

En 2014, HiiL a mené la première enquête sur les besoins et la satisfaction de la justice (JNS) au Mali afin de mieux comprendre les besoins et les voies de la justice. Quatre ans plus tard (2018), nous avons mené une deuxième enquête. Nous avons parlé à 8307 personnes dans les 10 régions et dans le district de Bamako au Mali. En collaboration avec nos partenaires Deme-So, le ministère de la Justice du Mali et l’organisation de vote, GISSE, nous avons collecté les données et nos experts ont analysé les résultats.

La valeur de ces données est qu’elles identifient les domaines d’innovation. Il fournit également les éléments de base d’un programme d’innovation de justice fondé sur des données factuelles et sur lequel les parties prenantes peuvent décider. La prochaine phase, la transformation de la justice basée sur les données, est prête à être lancée.

Nous remercions l’ambassade des Pays-Bas à Bamako, l’ambassade des Pays-Bas à Bamako, Deme-So, le ministère de la Justice du Mali et le GISSE, pour leur soutien à ce travail en cours.

English text:

Today we launched the Justice Needs and Satisfaction report for Malian people. In co-operation with the Ministry of Justice of Mali, we designed this second enquiry to track the progress made of work to improve Malian’s access to justice, together with some innovative indicators of SDG 16.3. 

If you follow the news or live in Mali, you are fully aware of the tumultuous time the country has been having. There is conflict that is disturbing the lives of ordinary people to mixed degrees. Rebels and government clashed in the North of Mali in early 2012, by mid-2013 the United Nation’s deployed a peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA).

Peace, strong institutions and justice are connected. In 2015, the leaders of the UN member states agreed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It includes one goal about justice: SDG 16. Within SDG16, Target 16.3 commits to ensuring equal access to justice for all by 2030.

Understanding the justice needs of ordinary citizens is the humble contribution we can make to supporting peace and justice in Mali. HiiL’s mission is directly aligned with SDG16, it is: to empower 150 million people to prevent and resolve their most pressing justice problems by 2030.

In 2014, HiiL conducted the first Justice Needs and Satisfaction Survey (JNS) in Mali to enhance the understanding of the justice needs and paths to justice. Four years later (2018) we conducted a second survey. We spoke to 8,307 people in all 10 regions and the Bamako district in Mali. Together with our partners Deme-So, the Ministry of Justice of Mali and the Polling Organisation, GISSE we collected the data and our experts analysed the results. 

The value of this data is that it identifies areas for innovation. It also provides the building blocks for an evidence-based agenda for justice delivery for stakeholders to decide upon. Piecing together data about the formal and informal sectors of justice we identify there is potential innovation space in the Malian justice delivery landscape. The next phase, transformation of justice based on the data, is ready to launch.

We thank the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bamako, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bamako, Deme-So, the Ministry of Justice of Mali and GISSE, for their support of this ongoing work.

Below I share a story that left an impression on me; it is the story oa poor young woman in despair of justice in her country. Her name has been changed and I have omitted some of the particulars of her case, it is her voice all the same.

Animita’s Story

I had a dream of building my own health centre. I borrowed 1.5 million CFA from the bank in order to buy two plots of land from two young men. When I wanted to start building, I found out that the plots had already been sold to someone else.

I filed a complaint with the police. They promised to help me find the young men. I spent a lot of money on the police.

Eventually, the men were finally apprehended. One of the men who sold me land repaid me, the other refused – despite having admitted the facts in court and the judge ordered him to repay me in three months.

I was desperate to get my money back. The judge in charge of my case told me that it was not his duty to find the culprit and make him pay for the crime.

How is it possible that a young man confesses his guilt, yet the justice system is unable to make him pay for what he owes? We, the poor, are supposed to rely only on the justice system to protect us. But as the justice system does not meet these expectations, the situation becomes unbearable for us.

Download the report here