Whether you attend the World Justice Forum online or in person in The Hague, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in your choice of dynamic working group sessions designed to advance the Forum focus: “Building More Just Communities.”

These collaborative, hands-on sessions are where private sector and civil society leaders, policymakers, and donors meet to forge ambitious but practical plans and drive impact across a wide variety of issue areas. Many past Forum attendees continue to leverage these sessions to great success, including the partners behind the Working Group on Customary and Informal Justice (WG-CIJ). Read more about their experience.

The World Justice Forum 2022 will feature 37 working sessions that reflect the Forum’s three themes: Access to Justice, Anti-Corruption and Open Government, and Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination.

Working Sessions will be offered in the following formats:

In-Person: In-person working sessions will take place in the World Forum venue in The Hague. Virtual participants will not be able to join these sessions.

Online: Online working sessions will take place on Zoom and are meant to maximize the experience for virtual Forum participants. There will be a designated space in the World Forum venue for in-person Forum participants to join online sessions on their personal devices.

In-Person and Online: In-person and online working sessions will take place in the World Forum venue and will prioritize interaction for in-person participants. Virtual Forum participants will be able to watch the sessions via livestream but will not be able to actively interact in the discussion.

Confirmed working sessions include:


Working Sessions 1: Data, Diagnosis, Scoping the Challenge
Tuesday, May 31
10:30 am - 12:00 pm (CET)


Access to Justice for Women With Intellectual and Psychosocial Disabilities
UN Women Regional Office for Asia Pacific
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Regional Office for South-East Asia
Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland Galway

A shift towards people-centered justice for women with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities starts with an understanding of their legal needs, designing solutions that respond to them, and making sure that justice systems are open, inclusive, and responsive to their differentiated legal needs. 

During the session, participants will hear directly from disability self-advocates from the Asia Pacific region on what ‘justice’ means to them, and how to ensure no one is left behind in the quest for justice for all.

The session will chart ways in which UN Women, OHCHR, and the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland Galway are seeking to improve the justice journey for women with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, through: (1) a legal needs survey; (2) direct consultations with women with disabilities; and, (3) opening the space for diverse justice actors, including disabled persons organizations.

Theme: Access to Justice
Online
Languages: English, French, International Sign Language (ISL), Closed Captioning (CC)

Speakers: Bhargavi DavarProfessor Eilionóir Flynn, Kamala Poudel, Doreen Buettner, Dewi TjakrawinataRosemary KayessVera Siesjö


The Challenges of Measuring Public Integrity: The OECD Public Integrity Indicators
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The objective of the session is to present some of the key processes that are at the core of the data collection, analysis and validation of the OECD Public Integrity Indicators. The session will reflect upon the key challenges of engaging with countries and how to avoid respondent fatigue in an age where governments have high demands from numerous international organizations. Issues such as the pros and cons of engagement tools and collaborative platforms will be discussed. 

Moreover, the session will reflect upon the dialectic process that takes place when seeking validation of the values with governments. Through the feedback of countries, we can better represent the integrity system of each country in the values of our indicators while helping them own and acknowledge the areas of their integrity system that might need more attention. 
What gets measured gets done. Therefore, the key topics addressed in this session will target the benefits and challenges of measuring a wide array of policies that fall under the umbrella of public integrity, like regulations on lobbying, conflict of interest, financing of political parties, or the overall strategic framework.

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
Online
Languages: English

Speakers: TBA

Community-Driven Data as a Tool to Foster Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
International Civil Society Centre (ICSC) - Leave No One Behind Partnership

Democracy and its underlying principles of equal rights and non-discrimination are strengthened with the representation of people from all communities. However, government policy making is often based on data that don't adequately represent all communities and their diverse needs.

The Leave No One Behind partnership is advocating for the increased use of Community-Driven Data for an improved public planning process that is built on the principles of equal rights and non-discrimination. In this event, we will present learnings and insights from partnering civil society organizations in Nepal, Malawi, and India. Presenters will highlight both advantages and limitations of community-driven data and share some of their key recommendations on how to make policy making more inclusive. Also, we will hear the voices of community representatives, who will share their perspectives on the added value of inclusive data approaches for their communities.

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
Online
Languages: English, French, Spanish

Speakers: Peter KoblowskyAnnie Namala, Thumbiko Wa-Chizuma Msiska, Shikha Shrestha, Alex Mihnovits, Deepesh Paul Thakur, Ram Hari Gaihre, Konok Roy


Corruption Measurement as an Agent of Change
Chandler Foundation

“If you want to change it, you’ve got to measure it” – this rings true for corruption as it does for all rule of law issues. But how do you measure corruption – an activity that is meant to be hidden and go undetected? And how do you measure it in a way that can lead to actionable change by government reformers? Some of the world’s leading indices rely on perception to measure corruption – what are the pros/cons to this approach? Are there objective alternatives to relying on perception? 

Hear from a diverse group of panelists who have experience from government, civil society, and academia as they discuss different approaches to measuring corruption and how such tools can advance anti-corruption reforms.

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
In-Person and Online
Languages: English

Speakers: Wu Wei NengVinicius Reis, Leslie TsaiAlina Mungiu-Pippidi, Kamel Ayadi


Justice Needs and Satisfaction Study in the US: Lessons for Moving from Data to Action
Institute for Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS)
Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL)

In 2021, IAALS and HiiL conducted a study of people’s justice needs in the United States, surveying over 10,000 people across all income levels and regions. This session will begin by highlighting key results of the study and policy implications. From this initial context, the panelists will engage in a broader discussion regarding the importance of using people-centered data to assess what works and how to target reform efforts in an evidence-based way. Through an interactive dialogue with attendees, the panelists will talk about the importance—and the challenges—of moving from data to action and realizing justice for all.

Theme: Access to Justice
In-Person and Online
Languages: English

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


Launch of the Ibero-American Alliance for Access to Justice
Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies
New York Universitry Center on International Cooperation (CIC NYU)

Join us for the official launch of the Ibero-American Justice Alliance, which aims to coordinate and give visibility to the work of the extensive network of justice associations and actors providing access to justice for all in the region. The alliance includes the judiciary and the legal profession, civil society and regional and international organizations. It will work with the Justice Action Coalition and connect initiatives from Ibero-American countries to global networks and debates. The session will focus on practical examples of people-centered justice from the region, as a prelude to the regional progress report on Justice for All to be presented in 2023.

Theme: Access to Justice
In Person and Online
Languages: English, Spanish

Speakers: Stella Maris MartinezMaria Fernanda RodriguezLuciana BercovichKarina GerlachGrace Hulseman

Promoting Non-Discriminatory and Inclusive Access to Justice for All Children: A Simulation
Terre des Hommes
Baker McKenzie
Global Initiative on Justice with Children

Youth involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice court Youth involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice court process frequently travel through myriad public systems. Many of these youth have experienced high levels of trauma, violence, instability, and loss. We will pilot an experiential learning module to increase understanding and awareness of youth experiences in a system of justice that may often feel unjust. Using integrative teaching and simulations, we will explore what it is like to be a young person moving through various services and systems. 

Participants will get a short orientation and then spend the bulk of the simulation in their player role as children involved in the justice system navigating the different pieces. It will be followed by a robust reflection session as a group and individually. This session is based on the 2021 World Congress on Justice With Children’ Global Declaration on non-discriminatory and inclusive child justice systems.

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
In-Person
Languages: English

Speakers: Cédric Foussard, Angela Vigil, Brian Blalock


Uneven Effects: Civic Space Restrictions and Excluded Groups
CIVICUS

This session will give an overview of civic space restrictions as documented by the CIVICUS Monitor, with a particular focus on how civic space restrictions are targeted and disproportionally affect already excluded groups.

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
Online
Languages: English, French, Spanish

Speakers: Marianna Belalba, Débora Leão, Aarti Narsee


Working Sessions 2: Evidence-based Approaches: What Works
Tuesday, May 31
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Cultivating Judicial Leadership in the Tech Evolution of Courts
Judicial Integrity Network ASEAN
United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

Emerging technologies promise efficiency in the justice system, but at what cost? We must be sure that fundamental rights and trial fairness are protected and that justice is accessible for all. Judges play a key role.

This interactive session will examine how judges and courts can use new technologies to strengthen people-centered justice. Focusing on user scenarios, session participants can bring their perspectives to a dynamic discussion about technology and judicial excellence.

Over the last 2 years, the Judicial Integrity Network ASEAN has researched the impact of emerging technologies on judicial excellence and developed a suite of tools for judges and judiciaries to use to bring their leadership to the evolution of justice. The tools identify the role of the judges to lead on questions of access to justice, rule of law, equality, rights protection, anti-corruption, and trial fairness in the tech development process. Whether at the project design, procurement, testing, training or data monitoring stage, judges bring an essential expertise to the use of new technologies in courts. Designed for court administrators, judges, and anyone working to modernize court operations, attendees will share ideas and learn about judicial leadership into the design and implementation of new court technologies.

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
Online
Languages: English, French, Spanish

Speakers: Sarah McCoubreyMurray KellamTomas Kvedaras


Establishing a People-Centered Access to Justice Research Agenda
American Bar Foundation

Thanks to emerging research and evidence, we can now begin to demonstrate the power of people-centered approaches to justice. However, without a coordinated and globally inclusive research agenda and investments in building evidence, emerging commitments to people-centered justice will miss important opportunities for integration and synthesis, for insights that can inform both practical decisions about program design and policy adoption, and for scholarly understanding. This workshop will explore what it might take to establish a people-centered access to justice research agenda and related impacts on policy and practice from the perspective of researchers, donors, policymakers, and practitioners.

Theme: Access to Justice
In-Person
Languages: English

Speakers: Rebecca L. SandefurMatthew BurnettAnnette MbogohAdrian Di Giovanni, Alejandro Ponce


Gender Justice on the Frontlines: Grassroots and Institutional Responses to GBV
THEMIS - Gender Justice and Human Rights
Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)
Legal Empowerment Network (convened by Namati)
Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) Canada

The measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic – such as restrictions on movement and related loss of employment and incomes – led to a global surge in gender-based violence (GBV). Despite the increased need for institutional support for victims of GBV, pandemic-related precautionary measures taken by governments impaired the ability of women and girls to seek recourse when subjected to violence. In this vacuum, civil society, and grassroots justice and legal empowerment groups in particular, became all the more critical. They found innovative and creative ways to support women and survivors in seeking safety and justice, collaborated with governments, and advanced urgent structural and policy reforms.

In this roundtable discussion, we will spotlight case studies of models that worked during the pandemic, including the use of technology; the role of community paralegals in guiding victims; and tactics like radio programming. We will also discuss how governments and public institutions responded to increase access to justice for victims of GBV – including by setting up specialized courts and collaborating with civil society. 

We will share key findings and recommendations from Gender Justice During and Beyond the COVID-19 Crisis, a participatory research project with 19 grassroots justice members of the Legal Empowerment Network. 

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
Online
Languages: English, French, Spanish

Speakers: Sandra Luz Chichas BautistaLinette du ToitJasminka FrishchikjHazel Lavitoria, Abdullah Titir


The Impact of Data and Evidence in Anti-Corruption Policies in Mexico
World Justice Project Mexico

In this roundtable we will discuss how existing data and evidence have shaped the anti-corruption policy making process at both national and state levels in Mexico in recent years. The participants of this session are members of different institutions of the National Anti-Corruption System (Sistema Nacional Anticorrupción, SNA), which came into force in 2017. 

The SNA is responsible for designing and implementing anti-corruption policy. It’s headed by a Coordinating Committee charged with synchronizing and institutionalizing the country’s anti-corruption efforts. It also includes a Citizen Participation Committee (CPC), a civilian oversight body, which puts citizens at the forefront of anti-corruption efforts. The SNA also includes 32 State Anti-corruption Systems (Sistemas Estatales Anticorrupción, SEA), which have similar integration and attributions as the SNA at the state-level. 

The federal and state institutions that are part of the SNA oversee the development of National and State Anticorruption Policies, using data to inform, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of anti-corruption policies. The participants of the panel are deeply involved in the design of these policies at the national and state-level. They will share their experiences and discuss the factors that have strengthened the use of evidence in the anti-corruption policies in Mexico, as well as the availability, usefulness, and limits of existing data, such as WJP’s Mexico States Rule of Law Index. 

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
Online
Languages: English, Spanish

Speakers: Alejandro González ArreolaRoberto MorenoJanet AguirreDavid Gómez Álvarez


Intersectional Discrimination in a Post-Covid World: Violations, Solutions, and Actions
Minority Rights Group International

Through short interventions by Minority Rights Group (MRG) and partners, we will explore what intersectionality is and how intersectional discrimination presents in context of the daily lives of minority and indigenous communities. MRG partners will explore the challenges faced by LGBTQI+ migrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees in Tunisia, women with disabilities from indigenous and other marginalized groups in Nepal, and indigenous women and persons with disabilities in Kenya. 

This will be followed by an interactive dialogue with participants to interrogate and more fully understand, what are the consequences of intersectional discrimination? How do we recognise such rights violations? How do we overcome violations through community-led solutions? What actions do we need to take to ensure equal rights and non-discrimination in a post-Covid world? 

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
In-Person and Online
Languages: English

Speakers: Syrine Boukadida, Pratima Gurung, Christine Kandie, Achref Medini, Lauren Avery


Pathways to Justice: Effective Tools for Localized Community Solutions
Dentons
Alaska Legal Services Corporation
British Council

This interactive session will discuss three different localized community justice interventions and explore the benefits and barriers to such approaches. Panelists from Sri Lanka, Alaska, and Costa Rica will discuss access to justice models that range from community mediation programs, legal aid provided through medical legal partnerships, and innovative pro bono models that all aim to deliver culturally appropriate community based justice solutions.

Theme: Access to Justice
In-Person
Languages: English

Speakers: Sarah Carver, Nikole NelsonNatiuska TrañaVeerachandran KugathasanKeerthy BiyanwilaNadeeka NiroshiniChampa Kumarasinghe


People-Centered Innovations in Community Justice
International Development Law Organization (IDLO)

Justice only becomes a lived reality when people can access it. Yet for the majority of the world’s population, justice is unattainable; because people don’t have the money or means to reach a court; because they are unaware of their rights or are not able to enjoy them; because the law excludes them; because procedures are too complicated; because cases drag on for years; because communities have no one to advocate for them; because they remain forgotten.

Guided by the understanding that people around the world use diverse pathways to seek redress for wrongs and resolve their disputes, this session will bring together leaders at the center of community-based justice innovations to showcase innovations, exchange experiences and build new partnerships. The innovations featured will draw on IDLO’s global work on access to justice in the Sahel, Honduras, Somalia and Uganda.

Each of these initiatives is adapted to its context and the justice needs of the community it serves. Together, they provide insights into the diverse ways that justice needs, common to many, can be successfully addressed in different contexts and ways to promote access to justice for all.

Theme: Access to Justice
In-Person and Online
Languages: English

Speakers: TBA


Whistleblowing for Our Future: Innovations in Society’s Best Anti-Corruption Tool
Whistleblowing International
National Whistleblower Center
Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto LLP

Today in record numbers, citizens are reporting misconduct, journalists are exposing corruption, whistleblowers are being protected from retaliation, and guilty parties are being prosecuted for their crimes.

Regular citizens are the fastest-growing source of information about crime, corruption and public health dangers. More company fraud is uncovered by whistleblowers and tipsters than every type of audit, internal control and security system – combined.

In this session, participants will engage in a solutions-driven discussion on harnessing whistleblowing to support their work. Participants will be guided in nurturing and incorporating whistleblowing strategies to improve their anti-corruption and rule of law initiatives. 

The outcome will be a blueprint for how whistleblowing can be mainstreamed into the priorities and practices of public authorities, investigators, international law enforcement, practicing attorneys and civil society organizations. Participants will be given the opportunity to draft a Resolution in support of strengthening free-speech rights for crime and corruption witnesses.

Endorsed by every major international and regional organization – from the UN and European Union (EU), to the Organization of American States (OAS) to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – whistleblower protection laws are now in place in more than 50 countries.

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
In-Person and Online
Languages: English

Speakers: Stephen KohnSiri NelsonMark Worth


Working Sessions 3: Illustrating What Works
(hosted off-site by local partners in The Hague)

Wednesday, June 1
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM (CET)


Addressing the Enforcement Gap: The Proposal for an International Anti-Corruption Court
Integrity Initiatives International (III)

Support for the International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC) has grown significantly since Integrity Initiatives International (III, pronounced “triple I”) released a Declaration in support of the creation of the Court in June 2021, signed by over 120 world leaders from 45 countries, including former heads of state and government, Nobel Laureates, high court judges, former cabinet ministers, and representatives of business, faith, and civil society communities. Working with international partners to help establish an IACC is now Canadian and Dutch foreign policy. Two successive administrations in Colombia have also endorsed the IACC and III is working with a growing civil society coalition to advocate for the court in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

The event on the IACC at the Peace Palace will include: 1) A discussion on why there is a need for an IACC to address grand corruption and 2) A discussion on how the IACC would operate, including discussion of complementarity, extraterritorial jurisdiction, head of state immunities, the gathering of evidence, and more.

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
In-Person
Languages: English

Speakers: Judge Mark Wolf, Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua, Serena Ibrahim, Maja GroffDr. Jean-Pelé FométéBianca Bolaños


 

How to Engage Business in Transforming Governance
Global Compact Network Netherlands
VNO-NCW
UN Global Compact

Sustainable Development Goal 16 is essential to the enabling environment — to foster responsible and sustainable business, build inclusive and stable societies, and achieve all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more broadly. 

In 2021, UN Global Compact introduced the “SDG 16 Business Framework - Inspiring Transformational Governance”, a tool for businesses, developed by businesses. It presents the what, why and how of transformational governance through each target under SDG 16. While the principal responsibility for achieving these targets rests with governments, businesses have an important role to play in strengthening internal and external activities consistent with corporate purpose and stakeholder capitalism. It calls on businesses to be more accountable, ethical, inclusive, and transparent.

In this session, the participants will explore the topic of transformational governance and discuss:
● How can the private sector contribute to more just communities? 
● How can governments and civil society use this Framework to engage with responsible business?
● What role can the legal profession play as a mobilizing force for Sustainable Development Goal 16?
● What can business do to engage in inclusive multilateralism and global cooperation?
● How can this Framework encourage and strengthen public-private partnerships at the local and national level?

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
In-Person
Languages: English

Speakers: Jan Eijsbouts, Isabella D. Bunn, Michelle Breslauer


Justice-By-Design: How to Integrate Justice into Technology? 
C-SIDe Project, Leiden University

Technology can cause injustice by the way it is built or by the way it is deployed. In both cases, we tend to fix the problems when they are causing harm, turning justice into an afterthought rather than the intended purpose. What if we could move the attention to justice to an earlier point in time, at the point of planning, and designing a technology and make it the default setting? 

This reasoning is known from the field of Privacy-by-Design and Security-by-Design. The field of Security-by-Design is unintentionally influenced and curbed by assumptions. The general view includes a strong emphasis on technology even though it involves significant legal, policy, governance, organizational, and behavioral aspects, besides its technical components. An increasing amount of decision-making is done by algorithms, also in the field of justice and access to justice. Recognizing how (racial, gender, or other) bias can find its way into such algorithms, we apply the thinking behind Security-by-Design and a broad understanding of security as including justice. This workshop will therefore unpack how equality, diversity, inclusion, and non-discrimination can be built into the design of relevant technology, resulting in a justice-by-design type of thinking.

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
In-Person
Languages: English

Speakers: Els De Busser, Miral Hamani-SamaanJoseph Bongsyisy K. Fonlon, Pam Wood


Localizing the SDGs and Creating More Just and Equitable Communities
Carnegie Mellon University
The Hague Humanity Hub
UNA-NCA

When referring to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one often hears them called the “UN SDGs.” Yet the UN’s role on the SDGs is mainly as convener. Just as the creation of the SDG framework involved millions of people around the world, the work of making the SDGs impactful happens well outside the UN. While conceived of as national level projects—reported out through Voluntary National Reviews—cities, universities, and nonprofits around the world are finding value and aligning with the SDGs through Voluntary Local Reviews, Voluntary University Reviews, and other ways of tracking the SDGs at the local level including with disaggregated data—essential to leaving no one behind and creating more just and equitable communities. This working session will focus on local efforts, emerging best practices, and actionable recommendations. Speakers will highlight ongoing work in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Toronto, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and the Hague and invite WJF participants engaged in local efforts on the SDGs from communities around the world to share their insights.

Theme: Access to Justice
In-Person
Languages: English

Speakers: Sarah Mendelson and colleagues working on #JustRecovery, Wim JansenShayna Vayser

Ombuds Institutions’ Role in Contributing to Access to Justice and SDG 16
DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance 
National Ombudsman of the Netherlands

Ombuds institutions have become an increasingly common feature of legal systems. They help to bridge the justice gap and achieve the ambitions of peaceful, just, and inclusive societies envisioned under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16. By receiving, investigating, and resolving complaints and mediating conflicts, as well as monitoring activities, ombuds institutions represent a key pathway to enhance access to justice. They can offer an alternative to court proceedings, which may often be lengthy and costly, and help to ensure that the rights of marginalized and vulnerable groups are upheld.

However, ombuds institutions’ contributions are often overlooked in broader discussions on access to justice. This workshop will provide a platform for ombuds institutions to share their experiences and good practices. A focus will be set on violations by security sector actors, as deficient security sectors can play a far-reaching role in undermining the rule of law. Access to justice must be ensured for a variety of issues such as gender-based violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, or violations of the right to peaceful assembly. Only by addressing these and delivering justice can the vision of peaceful and just societies set out in SDG 16 be met.

Theme: Access to Justice
In-Person
Languages: English

Speakers: Hon. Florence Kajuju MBS, Maaike de Langen, Catalina Crespo SanchoDr. Stephan Sjouke, Karen Gomez Dumpit


Working Sessions 4: Recommendations and Commitments
Thursday, June 2
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM (CET)


Communicating about Transitional Justice to Advance a Culture of Change
Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG)
Fondation Hirondelle
International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)

This session will explore the importance of communicating about transitional justice in facilitating a culture of change within societies that have experienced massive human rights violations. Using comparative examples, topics to be addressed will include: 1) the role of media in supporting sustainable transitional justice processes, the different stages in which media plays a crucial role, and the importance of training media actors to communicate with the public on transitional justice as a catalyst for sustainable peace; 2) the work of journalists covering current transitional justice issues, such as Ukraine, Colombia, colonial crimes, and environmental crimes, that highlight the value of specialized and independent reporters and the challenges of bringing transitional justice expertise to a larger audience to explain both the political relevance and technical nature of the issues; and 3) art as a means of engaging youth in Tunisia and Lebanon, including through art and photo contests as well as oral history projects, intergenerational dialogue, and workshops on collecting testimonies.

Theme: Access to Justice
Online
Languages: English, French, Spanish

Speakers: Thierry CruvellierNour El Bejjani NoureddineJudie Kaberia


Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Laws: Foundations for Equal Rights
Equal Rights Trust
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Since early 2020, the Equal Rights Trust and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have been working together to develop Protecting Minority Rights: A Practical Guide on Developing Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Law. 

The Guide is the first attempt to provide comprehensive and authoritative guidance to those involved in the development of comprehensive anti-discrimination laws - laws which are essential if States are to eliminate discrimination, advance equality and leave no one behind. It consolidates and synthesizes international legal standards – as set out in the United Nations human rights conventions and the interpretations of them by the UN treaty bodies – and provides accessible guidance on the necessary scope and content of these laws if States are to meet their legal obligations. Developed in consultation and collaboration with activists, academics, and advocates involved in the development of anti-discrimination laws in every part of the world, it also brings together good practice examples from across the globe. 

This working session is designed to introduce the forthcoming Guide to a wider audience and to engage with those involved in work to advance justice and the rule of law on the need to place comprehensive anti-discrimination law at the heart of these efforts.

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
In-Person and Online
Languages: English

Speakers: Claude Cahn, Regina Pajares Carrillo


Intergenerational Dialogue on People-Centered Justice
Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies

The Justice Action Coalition is a multi-stakeholder, high-ambition coalition of countries and organizations, championing equal access to justice for all. The guiding ambition of the Justice Action Coalition is to close the global justice gap and the goal is to achieve measurable progress in justice outcomes for people and communities by the second SDG Summit in 2023.

Contributing to this ambition is the Young Justice Leaders cohort. It is a group of young leaders that have come together to facilitate collaboration, build networks, and contribute to the global policy dialogue around justice for all, demonstrating that people-centered justice is possible and necessary. 

This working session will introduce the vision and objectives of the Young Justice Leaders through an interactive, intergenerational dialogue with the Elders who are an independent group of global leaders working together for peace, justice, and human rights.

The session is intended to bring diverse perspectives on people-centered justice to the fore, thereby contributing to the agenda of the Young Justice Leaders which will include policy recommendations and commitments towards justice for all.

Theme: Access to Justice
Online
Languages: English

Speakers: Vino LuceroShaneel LalMary Robinson, David Steven


Judges as Peacebuilders: Judicial Networks as Vectors of Judges’ Independence
International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC)
International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ)
Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice 

Can judicial associations and networks protect judges and their independence? Our conclusion is yes. Judicial networks are safety nets and important hubs for judges. Starting with recommendations from Latin America, we will workshop how judicial networks increase the judiciary’s integrity and diversity. During this working session, we will explore and identify how judicial networks can best be used as vectors of judicial independence. 

Topics of discussion will include how to strengthen judicial independence through a community of practice. The following are examples: 
- increasing judges’ security when in vulnerable positions, 
- supporting and protecting judges working on anti-corruption cases, and 
- increasing diversity within the profession by supporting judges from traditionally marginalized groups. 

Efficient tools to achieve positive outcomes include involvement in the public debate on the functioning of the judiciary, making visible judges’ role as rule of law defenders and the importance of diversity on the bench. 

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
In-Person and Online
Languages: English, Spanish

Speakers: Joel HernandezYlva L. Hartmann, Hermens Darío Lara Acuña, Indalecia Pacheco LeónChristie R. JonesCarlos Giovanni Ruano PinedaJaime Chávez Alor


The Law’s Role in Protecting the Most Vulnerable Populations from Climate Change
American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

Those most harmed by the impacts of climate change are vulnerable populations who are the least responsible and, although the most deserving, frequently lack the legal protections or tools to address their harms. As a result, climate change impacts are emerging as growing human rights and rule of law issues. Cases in point are Kivalina, Juliana, the Netherlands case against Shell, and the constitutional recognition of environmental rights.

Theme: Access to Justice
In-Person and Online
Languages: English

Speakers: Lee DeHihnsClaudia RastRoger MartellaZhang JingjingBetty Barkha


Public Accountability for Democratic Renewal: Improving Access and Efficacy
Open Government Partnership

As democracy and the rule of law continue to decline globally, effective accountability institutions, such as courts, legislatures, and other autonomous agencies, can help deter and punish government overreach, preventing further backsliding. Despite the vital importance of these institutions, within the context of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the proportion of commitments or policy reforms that focus specifically on creating and reforming accountability mechanisms remains strikingly low. 

This session will offer a space for discussion on how accountability institutions can contribute to improved democratic accountability and can help countries advance other priorities, including protecting civil and human rights and preventing corruption. Specifically, we will discuss (1) the challenges to creating and implementing accountability reforms; (2) the types of reforms that can make accountability institutions legally, economically, and practically accessible to citizens; and (3) ways of incentivizing these reforms. 

The discussion will be led by a panel of experts and practitioners from a variety of sectors who each focus on improving public accountability in response to different challenges and types of government overreach. OGP staff will also share insights from our forthcoming report on accountability for democratic renewal, which touches on each of these topics.

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
Online
Languages: English, French, Spanish

Speakers: Uchechi AnyanwuJason Lakin, Sarah Wesonga, Jessica Hickle


The Role of Lawyers and Law Societies in Promoting Gender Justice
The Law Societies’ Compact & Forum for SDG 16

The pandemic has worsened existing social and economic inequalities and undermined women's economic security and resilience against shocks. Any meaningful pandemic recovery must prioritize a gender-responsive approach. Those designing and working in justice systems must be alert to how these systems may have gender-blindness that makes them weak and susceptible in times of crises. For justice systems to succeed at guaranteeing fair and effective access to justice for all, they must be designed with a clear understanding of gendered perspectives. 

Lawyers have an important part to play in eliminating systemic discrimination and exclusion and protecting fundamental rights and equality of opportunity. As a key stakeholder in justice systems and a key implementer, they are well positioned to effect change. Lawyers have various avenues to fight gender discrimination and promote equal access to justice including strategic litigation, pro-bono legal services and access to justice schemes that impact women, and legislative and policy reform, among others. 

Through this session, we hope that legal professionals will have a greater understanding of their role in promoting gender justice, the effect that gender discrimination has on achieving access to justice, and the tools and global networks available to them.

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
Online
Languages: English, French, Spanish

Speakers: Stephanie Boyce, Julie CouturierJ. Jarpa DawuniIan McDougallFrancisca PretoriusPaul Prettitore


The Role of People-Centered Justice in Delivering Equality and Inclusion
Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies

Inequalities are the manifestation of structural injustices - with the legal system too often helping to maintain and deepen these inequalities. This session will look at the bigger picture of what is driving inequality and exclusion, and ask what can the justice system do to support efforts to deliver for all groups, including the poorest and those most marginalized. 

Drawing on lessons from around the world, this session will provide insights on the strategies that can be used to address inequality and exclusion through people-centered justice. It will hone in on the role justice systems to reverse discriminatory practices and ensure that all people can activate their economic and political rights, delivering justice for all and not just for the privileged few. It will also explore how putting people and communities, rather than institutions, at the heart of justice systems, can contribute to building credibility and trust in the state, enabling it to reduce rising levels of inequality and exclusion.

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
In-Person
Languages: English

Speakers: Nicolás Marugán ZalbaLuciana BercovichFaiza ShaheenAlexandra Wanjiku Kelbert


Working Sessions 5: Building Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships for Change
Thursday, June 2
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM (CET)

 


Access to Justice Land and Environmental Advocates Need to Protect us from Climate Change
Namati
Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC)
ProDESC
Legal Empowerment Fund

From the coast of Gujarat, India to the Gola Forest of Sierra Leone, communities have been able to bravely use the law to fight off air pollution and protect forests. As the world teeters towards devastating climate impacts, the efforts of communities advocating for their own land and environmental justice keep us all safer. Despite the importance of this critical work, land and environmental justice defenders face huge obstacles to justice from those who want to maintain the status quo.

In this session, we will provide examples of how governments, companies, and advocates can create avenues for justice for land and environmental justice defenders who are seeking to protect us from climate change. The speakers will begin in a facilitated group discussion and then we will break out into small working groups along the following topics:

  • Enshrining the rights for community decision making in law
  • Trusting community monitoring/groundtruthing
  • Investing in environmentally harmed or vulnerable communities.
  • Protecting the defenders

Theme: Access to Justice
Online
Languages: English, French Spanish

Speakers: TBA


Building Partnerships Across Society to Protect Civic Freedoms and Democracy: Experiences of the Business Network on Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders
The B Team
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC)

Companies are directly affected by increased autocratization and the weakening of civic space surrounding their business operations. Corruption, lack of transparency, and suppression of public debate lead to a less stable and profitable environment for business. 

The session will present the Business Network on Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders, which offers a unique space, where business, investors, civil society, and human rights defenders exchange on key topics on the human rights agenda, with a special focus on civic freedoms and HRDs. The network is grounded in the recognition that business and civil society operate in and benefit from a “shared space” defined by common, fundamental elements: the rule of law and freedom of expression, association and assembly.

The rapid decline in civil society space is part of a bigger trend of geopolitical transition and democratic recession. The boundaries between corporate responsibility and geopolitics seem to be progressively blurring and there is a growing appetite for companies and investors to get involved in initiatives against repression and authoritarianism. 

Through the experiences at the Network, we will discuss how corporate action in support of civic space can stretch beyond a small cluster of engaged multinationals and tackle wider topics of authoritarian resurgence.

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
Online
Languages: English, French, Spanish

Speakers: TBA


Challenges and Trends for Accountability Institutions
INTOSAI Development Initiative 

Research on accountability institutions points out a clear correlation between the strength of domestic accountability and the presence of specific attributes such as transparency, openness, and strong civic space in the environment they operate in. If it is clearly understandable how the environment can influence the effectiveness of accountability institutions, the bi-directional nature of that relationship can be further explored. In that sense, accountability institutions, through domestic accountability, can serve as a catalyst for positive changes in their broader operational environment. This specific role can be analyzed in the face of the global trends affecting the institutional environment in which they operate. 

The session will address three trends: (1) democratic backsliding or de-democratization, which is linked to the restrictions of civic space and manipulation of institutions to prevent them from playing their role; (2) the need to count on inter-institutional coordination to avoid fragmentation, as well as overlapping or conflicting mandates, and (3) the constitutionalism of accountability mechanisms to insulate them from political influence and how it can be completed by other sets of measures.

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
In-Person and Online
Languages: English

Speakers: Silke SteinerJorum Duri, Ewout Irrgang, Tim Steele


Children and Youth at the Table! Intergenerational Action in Realizing Justice for All
Pathfinders for Justice: Justice for Children Project
University of Strathclyde
Terre des Hommes

Children and youth are increasingly recognized as both custodians of tomorrow and catalysts of change. At the same time, they continue to face some of the most significant barriers to inclusion, including racial discrimination leading to higher rates of being in conflict with the law and social and economic exclusion exacerbated by school closures, precarious employment conditions, and the rising living costs.

Speaking to the theme of ‘equality and non-discrimination’, our organizations are about ensuring that children and youth are not only on the agenda, but also at the table in an adult justice space. 

The session will be structured in the form of an intergenerational dialogue amongst UN representatives, civil society, children, and youth, including the Pathfinders for Justice’s Young Justice Leaders. The content of the session will be guided by a policy brief presenting evidence around national actions that can ensure inclusive, non-discriminatory justice systems for children, drawing on outcomes of the 2021 World Congress on Justice with Children and highlighting opportunities of intersection with the Voluntary National Review processes.

The session will spark a new phase of campaigning for justice with children characterized by intergenerational partnership, directly contributing to the strategy of the Pathfinder’s Justice Action Coalition.

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
In-Person
Languages: English

Speakers: TBA


Creating a Functional Justice Marketplace with Public and Private Sector Engagement
Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL)

Each year, more than 1 billion people face a serious justice problem. Up to 70% of these problems remain unresolved or are resolved unfairly. 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, making the process of getting justice today slow, difficult, and very expensive. 

Luckily, promising new approaches and innovations that can help close the justice gap are gradually emerging. However, these solutions are unable to scale to the extent that is needed. At the heart of this lies a market failure. The justice sector is not able to deliver enough prevention and resolution of justice problems. Taking a cue from the health sector, a transformed justice marketplace might, however, be just what the doctor’s ordered to start the transformation that is desperately needed. 

In this panel, we will explore what a more functional justice marketplace that can provide high-quality solutions to people’s justice needs would look like, while it creates conditions that allow for investors and innovators to develop innovative, game-changing justice services at scale at the same time.

Theme: Access to Justice
Online
Languages: English, French, Spanish

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


Customary and Informal Pathways to People-Centered Justice: What Works
Working Group on Customary and Informal Justice (WG-CIJ)

There is growing recognition of the need to ensure that customary and informal justice (CIJ) is considered in efforts to achieve justice for all. The objective of the session is to foster dialogue between diverse stakeholders on practical ways to engage CIJ actors in building people-centered justice systems.

The session includes presentations on changing practices in CIJ, highlighting developments on the gendered experience of CIJ, and the role of women in framing and contesting CIJ rules. The session takes as given that how justice works in practice has developmental consequences, that CIJ is diverse, and that how it evolves is context-specific. 

In considering ‘what works’, the session will address the following through the expertise of presenters:
1) Reflections on recent advances in the CIJ conversation, focusing on the data challenges and possible approaches to addressing data gaps. 
2) The experience of different CIJ systems in wider peacebuilding and conflict prevention agendas, connecting SDG 16.3 with SDG 16 more broadly.
3) Interconnections between transitional justice and CIJ in transitions from conflict.
4) The impact of Covid-19 on people’s experience of justice, and on the role of CIJ systems
5) Specific stories of how CIJ has evolved and been renegotiated at the country level.

Theme: Access to Justice
In-Person and Online
Languages: English

Speakers: Victoria WalkerPilar DomingoJessica HazelwoodJacqueline NzoyiheraIlaria BottiglieroHabiba OsmanDr. Maman Aminou Amadou Koundy, Achim Johannsen


Democracy Dividends of ESG Investing
Center for Private International Enterprise

This working session will focus on understanding what it means for private sector companies to comply with ESG standards, and how that compliance can strengthen rule of law and democratic institutions. By convening experts from business, academia, and government, CIPE aims to highlight ways in which the ESG investing, justice and democracy development communities can work together. The working session will also serve to lay out major developments in ESG compliance that are likely in the coming years and that will make the topic increasingly relevant. One of those developments is the fact that European countries requiring corporate human rights and environmental due diligence are a driving force in amplifying the positive impact of ESG compliance in emerging markets throughout the world.

Theme: Anti-Corruption and Open Government
In-Person and Online
Languages: English

Speakers: Michele CrymesAndrea Bonime-Blanc, Robin Wiling, Klaus Moosmayer, John Stout


Inform Women, Transform Lives: Cities Increasing Equitable Access to Municipal Services
The Carter Center

The fundamental right of access to information is critical for both governments and the people they serve, particularly women. While we live in a time when information can be more readily shared than ever before, access to the power of information remains elusive for too many women. 

The Carter Center's Inform Women, Transform Lives campaign works with 24 global cities to increase awareness about women's right to public information and to help reach women with information about critical - but often underutilized - municipal services, such as economic empowerment opportunities, waste management, or services for survivors of domestic violence. Cities hold the information most critical for women, and the campaign works with local governments to assure that women can seek and receive impactful information and thrive in their communities. 

In this dialogue, leaders from the campaign cities will speak to why they are focusing on the issue of the obstacles women have faced in accessing information and services and the lessons learned when intentionally trying to reach women - particularly marginalized women. 

Theme: Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination
In-Person and Online
Languages: English, Spanish

Speakers: Alvaro Herrero, Laura Neuman, Hon. Esther Passaris


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