Where to find money for justice

Justice should also be a healthy business 

Matters of violence. Money matters. Matters of relationship. That is the business of justice. 

Delivering fair solutions, whilst making costs and collecting revenues. Like any business.  

In 2018, I published Understanding Justice Needs with colleagues near and far.

In it, we answered 9 key questions and suggested 10 opportunities for major investment to close the justice gap.

This year, I am co-writing our next report on making justice available to everyone. 

Allow me to give you a preview.

Basic justice can be available for everyone 

The Task Force on Justice identified the justice gap: 5 billion people do not get basic justice.

Individuals that are living outside the rule of law, struggling to solve everyday justice problems or living and working informally, lacking both protection and opportunities. 

The OECD and the Innovation Working Group of the Task Force tell us well-designed solutions are possible, yet requiring investments. 

Courts, prosecution, police and legal aid providers all suffer from resource constraints.

Funding needs are becoming more clear

The costs of scalable, innovative universal basic justice have been estimated by ODI.

It is less than I thought it would be.

65 – 85% of budgets are needed for formal state institutions and accountability (see Table).

Most resolution happens out of court, so funds for informal mechanisms are needed as well.

So where do revenues come from?  

Governments will spend a maximum of 4% in tax revenues on justice (IMF and World Bank data) and users of the justice system are also contributing.

Dividing the budgets, increasing the pie

Our report will summarize how police, courts, prosecution services, legal aid services, and informal justice/ADR each obtain a share of the justice budget. 

Is the current allocation effective in order to achieve the outcomes that are needed?

Our focus will be on how to increase the available resources. 

How can the sector mobilize extra revenue for basic justice? 

Making people want to invest in justice

(Well-designed) Justice may be attractive for social impact investors

Users may want to pay more if they are served in a better way.

Most justice problems are local, and communities need fairness, law, and predictability. 

So we will look at resources in the community.

Volunteers and professional services can both contribute. 

Three models of justice delivery case studies will inform the findings in our upcoming report

Together with our partners, we selected three case studies.

From these case-studies, we will try to find common themes. We will present them during the Innovation Justice Forum, February 5, 2020. 

I look forward to sharing Financing Fair Solutions with you before then. 

Working on financing fair solutions? Please contact us.

Other organizations are looking at the financing bottlenecks as well. 

We met during the World Justice Forum, learning a lot.

HiiL was asked to facilitate a working group, exchanging information each month. We said yes.

Please let Borja Gutierrez know if you want to join this group.

Money is an important part of the SDG16 equation.