World Justice Forum 2022

HiiL’s events & sessions at the World Justice Forum 2022

The World Justice Project, together with HiiL and other official partners, is convening the World Justice Forum 2022 on the topic “Building More Just Communities” between May 30 – June 03, 2022. The Forum – organised in a hybrid manner between The Hague and online – brings together hundreds of rules of law actors together to discuss an agenda on three intersecting themes: 

  • access to justice
  • anti-corruption and open government
  • equal rights and non-discrimination.

Across the event, HiiL played a key role by organising plenary, working sessions and side events. Below you can find more information on all of HiiL’s sessions as well as session recaps. 

The World Justice Forum brought together participants from 116 countries to learn, collaborate, and strategize on how to advance equal rights, anti-corruption, open government, and access to justice around the world.  Read the full final statement released by the official partners. 

Sessions overview

The Justice Dialogue

⊕ Pre-event | Wed. 20 April | 09:00 – 14:00 | Online 

In preparation for the Forum, HiiL convened a Justice Dialogue with justice practitioners and innovators to discuss a new programmatic approach to delivering justice. This serves as a basis for the Plenary Session on June 1 on how to make people-centred justice happen

“The Justice Dialogue sought to better understand how the justice sector can make the transformation to people-centred justice programming, a way of working that puts people and the outcomes they need at the centre, not institutions.”

You can read the complete recap and highlights from this discussion in this article.

Justice Needs and Satisfaction Study in the US: Lessons for Moving from Data to Action (HiiL x IAALS)

⊕ Working session | Tue. 31 May | 10:30 – 12:00 | Hybrid 

Together with the Institute for Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), HiiL used the example of the recent Justice Needs and Satisfaction study in the US as a springboard to a discussion about the role of people-centred justice. The main focus of the session was to explore practical and sustainable ways to streamline data insights into policymaking and service provision. Through interactive dialogue with attendees, the panellists talked about the importance—and the challenges—of moving from data to action and realizing justice for all.

Speakers: Martin Gramatikov, Logan Cornett, Edgar Kuhimbisa, Brittany K.T. Kauffman, Alejandro Ponce

Read Session Recap

Watch Session Recording 

People-Centred Justice: How to Make it Happen Systematically

⊕ Plenary session | Wed. 1 June | 13:00 – 14:00 | In person 

This conversation will bring the most important findings from the Justice Dialogue, and stimulate discussions on what components and elements support the successful implementation of people-centred justice. It will focus on the case studies and examples from the experiences of the stakeholders, while delving deeper into the enablers and impediments on scaling people-centred justice programmes as per the five hypotheses tested during the April Justice Dialogue.

Speakers: Sam Muller, Akingbolahan Adeniran, Christine Birabwa-Nsubuga, Paul Kimalu, Rachel Odoi-Musoke

Read Session Recap

Watch Session Recording 

Innovating Justice Fund Launch

⊕ Side-event | Wed. 1 June | 15:00 – 16:00 | Online 

To close the Justice Gap, innovation is needed to bring new services to scale that can prevent or resolve justice problems for everybody. Companies with game-changing business and delivery models are key drivers in this transformation of the justice sector. HiiL’s Justice Accelerator has supported 139 startups in the past 10 years, and some of them are growing fast. HiiL and fund manager FOUNT are launching the Innovating Justice Fund to provide funding and support to early-stage companies that deliver innovative justice solutions in emerging countries with the aim to scale up these companies, address the Justice Gap and hence contribute significantly to SDG 16.3.

Speakers: Ronald Lenz, Funkola Odeleye, Esther Mwikali, Zita Agwunobi

Read the Press Release 

Creating a Functional Justice Marketplace with Public and Private Sector Engagement

⊕ Working session | Thu. 2 June | 14:30 – 16:00 | Online 

In this panel, we will explore what a more functional justice marketplace would have to look like in order to ensure that it can provide high-quality solutions to people’s justice needs, while at the same time creating the conditions that allow for investors and innovators to develop innovative, game-changing justice services at scale. More specifically, we will focus on three main questions:

    • What would a functioning justice marketplace have to do and for whom?
    • What would then be needed to achieve this, now and in the future?
    • Who is needed to make this happen?

Speakers: Bob Assenberg, Allyson Maynard-Gibson QC, Firas Gaffari, David Steven, Eddie Hartman

Read Session Recap

Watch Session Recording 

Scaling Gamechangers for people-centred justice

⊕ Side-event open to all | Fri. 3 June | 11:00 – 12:30 | Online

Following the March 23  Webinar: Gamechangers for People-centred Justice. HiiL is organising an open follow-up webinar that will build upon the critical success factors developed by HiiL in its recent set of Policy Briefs (on Community Justice Services, One Stop Shop Dispute Resolution and User-friendly Contracts) and further the ongoing conversation on strengthening the enablers for making people-centred justice happen. 

This online is open to all. For more information and access to the webinar, visit the event page.

Speakers: Kanan Dhru (Moderator), Nathalie Dijkman, Folshou Obienu, Sachin MalhanMark Beer

Side event on Customary and Informal Justice and SDG16+ | Organised by the Working Group on People-Centred Justice

⊕ Partner event | Fri. 3 June | 14:00 – 15:00 | In person

A structured dialogue between the Working Group members who are attending the Forum to identify priorities for the next 1.5 years leading up to the 2nd SDG Summit in 2023. Configuration of areas of mutual interest and steering a practical commitment, in conjunction with the representatives of the Justice Action Coalition.

Sessions recaps

Recap: Justice Needs and Satisfaction Study in the US: Lessons for Moving from Data to Action (HiiL x IAALS)

⊕ Working session | Tue. 31 May | 10:30 – 12:00 | Hybrid

Together with the Institute for Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), HiiL used the example of the recent Justice Needs and Satisfaction (JNS) study in the US as a springboard to a discussion about the role of people-centred justice.

The conversation started with Logan Cornet’s deep dive into the results of the JNS survey. Every year 55 million Americans face 260 million legal problems. Of those, roughly 120 million Americans perceive their problems as being resolved unfairly. This data illustrates an alarming justice gap but also a “justice blindspot”. Usually, between 80-85% of the justice problems never come to the institutions of the formal justice sector. “A huge part of justice is left outside the scope of addressing people’s needs,” said Martin Gramatikov, Director of Measuring Justice at HiiL. To correct this massive blindspot requires data. “The JNS study gives us focus so that we can move from abstract ideas to understanding what the justice problems of people actually are,” said Brittany Kauffman, Senior Director at IAALS. “From that, we can move towards upstream solutions and address the problems as early as possible.” 

In Uganda, the data can inform policy decisions, mentioned Edgar Kuhimbisa from Uganda’s Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS). By having a more enterprising approach or ‘sectoral approach’ to Access To Justice and based on communication and collaboration with the private and public sectors, “we can integrate ‘systems’ so they’re talking to each other, meaningfully sharing data and as a result, inspiring action across the justice chain.” 

However, coordinating between the different levels of government and ensuring that data is taken seriously remains a challenge. That’s how we can better understand the scope of the problem. As Martin Gramatikov said: “Survey research is not the greatest tool to track impact but it’s a great way to look at trends in society. And, unfortunately, the trend is that the gap in justice is widening. However, operationalising people-centred justice provides a corrective path forward and the first step in the path is collecting data. This helps justice professionals identify “what works” and think practically about innovations to justice delivery.” 

With this, we can start thinking about data leadership to inspire action, build coalitions, and involve (political) stakeholders from the outset. That’s the future of people-centred justice.

Watch session recording 

Recap: People-Centred Justice: How to Make it Happen Systematically?

⊕ Plenary session | Wed. 1 June | 13:00 – 14:00 | In person 

A concrete approach to programming people-centred justice (PCJ) is emerging. Justice practitioners and innovators have identified the enablers and impediments that support successful implementation of PCJ. The key goal is ensuring that justice practitioners are spending time on things that people actually need and directing services towards those priorities. Emphasising this people-first approach creates sustainable solutions that also provide important social and economic benefits.

The hour-long session covered much ground and identified seven lessons for PCJ programming: 1) Data to make the case and understand the ‘why’; 2) Bridging the capacity gap with partnerships; 3) Identifying the right people and leaders with the right skills to propel change; 4) Improving communication and coordination structures; 5) Establishing the right incentives; 6) Broadening knowledge to address needs and apply interventions that work, and 7) Building and strengthening trust, especially among stakeholders across the (informal and formal) justice sector. 

“Using data and shining a light on the issues entails getting the stakeholders right,” said Akingbolahan Adeniran. “You need to have visionaries who are passionate, persuasive, and who have a mindset for change management. They will play a central role in the design and implementation of successful PCJ.” 

Empowering people and building trust was another theme throughout the session. “We continuously check the pulse of the people and if we’re addressing people’s needs and measuring trust in the public institutions,” said Rachel Odoi-Musoke. It’s about bringing institutions together to work towards common results. Rachel also highlighted the need to focus on the three C’s: communication, coordination and collaboration and thus inspiring stakeholders to acknowledge shared priorities with an eye toward shared results. 

Paul Kimalu, a leader in applying data in the justice sector, emphasised the need to ask one important question: what are the expected outcomes of people who seek justice. In Kenya, the answer is “people expect accountability, timeliness, efficiency, and affordability from their justice systems. This is what we’re pursuing.”

Further to the point of convening important changemakers, Christine Birabwa-Nsubuga emphasised “if the right people are not involved, then you can expect change to take longer. It starts with talking to each other and reducing confusion where it exists so we can better understand who we’re working for and to what end.”

Indeed, a strong communication approach helps people-centred justice programming. And in order to sustain PCJ, justice professionals must raise awareness among people so they know their rights and feel empowered to push suppliers for better services. Taken together, this is how we get countries and communities to start implementing PCJ programmes and inspire funders to invest in the efforts, initiatives, and projects that will realise SDG16 plus.

This conversation stemmed from the “Justice Dialogue” discussion which took place as a pre-event for the #WorldJusticeForum. Read about it here.

Recap: Creating a Functional Justice Marketplace with Public and Private Sector Engagement

⊕ Working session | Thu. 2 June | 14:30 – 16:00 | Online 

What conditions and reforms are needed to create a functional justice marketplace? How can we effectively engage both the public and private sectors to nurture an enabling environment for gamechanging justice services to flourish? These questions set the stage for this working session. 

Each year, more than 1 billion people face a serious justice problem. Up to 70% of these problems remain unresolved or are resolved unfairly. Data shows that justice does not deliver what people need in their most difficult moments. The problem is that we are still using the same models developed in past centuries, thus making the process of delivering justice today slow, cumbersome, and very expensive. 

Fortunately, the sector is undergoing a change where promising new approaches and innovations can help close the justice gap. However, these solutions are unable to scale to the extent needed most. At the heart of inability lies a market opportunity. Taking a cue from the health sector, a transformed marketplace is underway.

“In any other sector, 1.5 billion people with unmet needs is a crisis,” said Allyson Maynard-Gibson. “Nobody questions what needs to be done. We have to step out boldly and focus on people-centred justice rather than protecting our institutions. That means moving from the courts as the center of service delivery to the local community level.”

Making reforms to realise PCJ means examining the regulatory environment and defining in precise terms what that new environment looks like. “Does law exist to assert justice or does it exist to provide income to lawyers?”, asked Eddie Hartman. In the simplest terms, reforming the regulatory environment means fighting for the modernisation and expansion of legal services and bringing those services to more people. However, people-centred justice is also for those who provide justice and helps them “recognise new methods for thriving and delivering their services.”

Another key takeaway from the working session: creating space for experimentation. Both Bob Assenberg and Firas Gaffari discussed their respective innovations in changing the game in justice delivery. “Civitas has faced the protective establishment and entrenched power interests which were hostile to change. We saw the lack of resources inside the administration of law.” Nonetheless, persistence, a friendly smile, and an unphased commitment to personalisation paved the way for Civitas Digital to become accepted by several municipalities in Tunisia. “Our model is based on duplicating our system and showcasing its flexibility to simplify the roles and responsibilities of municipal officials who are responsible for delivering justice.”

Focusing on the human aspect also lies at the heart of the Innovating Justice Fund (launched a day earlier). ”Our joint approach with HiiL is to work with private companies in places where the government still has the claim to provide justice services,” said Bob Assenberg. “Governments are opening up, however, and we’re demonstrating that access to justice can provide the impact with game-changing business models that are viable to invest in.” As David Steven summarised, “This is a new approach to finance. We need to promote these types of models and build excitement for these emerging innovative approaches.”

Regulatory Sandboxes present other people-oriented solutions to justice delivery. These methodological approaches ‘enable a safe environment for businesses to test services or products without the risk of being sued for the unauthorized practice of law.’ This type of innovation also provides data on the kind of harm caused by the status quo. 

A final point elucidated the need to find powerful sponsors to get all this new thinking into the mainstream. Organisations such as the OECD, UN, EU, and others can help create some new norms and solidify a common language for people-centred justice, thus ensuring a sense of the paradigm shift globally.

Watch Session Recording