Give us justice

The advent of Covid-19 breaths new life into (serious) talks of innovating people-centered justice services.

Why is that?

The spark that lit the Arab Spring was the death of the Tunisian fruit vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi. Ten years later, millions of people are marching to demand changes to the failures of the American justice system after the murder of George Floyd.

“Around the world, a cry for justice is echoing.

A wave of protests has swept the U.S., Lebanon, Mali, and continues to spark conversations everywhere on why justice systems are not delivering what the people need and deserve.

This article, Justice in a Global Emergency, is authored by three justice leaders of the North America, South America and African continents. They urge justice ministers to listen to the cries from the people, and respond. Supporting justice leaders in doing this is paramount; the challenge is daunting.

Due to Covid-19, people will have more justice problems. This rise adds to an already precarious stack of social injustices. At the same time, the capacity of justice systems to respond is undermined by Covid-19. Justice workers fall sick, and courts and other such places of service provision are forced to close.

On top of this, the increase in demand for justice services and protection could not come at a worse time. Economies have been impacted, and will continue to be, by the emergency measures put in place to halt the pandemic.

We expect budgets to be strained. Justice leaders need to do more with less. But they should also look to do things differently.

This explains the emphasis on immediate innovation. In our recent survey, 270 justice leaders felt that the need to prioritise more innovation and smart ways of working (64%).

Delivering Justice in the Covid-19 Crisis:

“In too many countries, justice systems serve the needs of the few, not the many”

Diego García-SayánAllyson Maynard-GibsonWilly Mutunga

At the international level, there is a mobilisation that strives to turn hardship into opportunity. The Justice Leadership Group have issued a call to action for urgent and lasting change.

Justice leaders will not deliver access to justice with ‘outdated services and structures resistant to change‘.

The above article offers the practical steps for leaders. They take into consideration the changing times (and needs). They urge leaders to see what is at stake if we fail to safeguard justice during the pandemic: “trust and social cohesion will vanish, economies will fail to recover, and many people will die unnecessarily.”

The Justice Leadership Group, which was formed five years ago with the help of HiiL, have much to offer. Comprised of former attorney generals and senior judges, together we support those whose task it is to serve justice in their societies or internationally at the highest political level.

And that is hope.

For further information or to help take forward this this call to action, contact Sam Muller.

The articles shared come from a platform that hosts diverse voices in response to the protests catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd. Visit the Freedom and Justice Week series on