World Justice Forum participants reaffirm their commitment to justice for all

Emphasizing the commitment to justice that every government has made through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Sustainable Development Goal 16;

Noting the findings of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies and its Task Force on Justice, that 5 billion people have unmet justice needs globally, including people who cannot obtain justice for everyday problems, people who are excluded from the opportunity the law provides, and people who live in extreme conditions of injustice;

Building on the important work done to address the justice gap by a growing community of governmental, non-governmental, intergovernmental, parliamentary and private sector actors and institutions and in a variety of forums;

Embracing the opportunities to show progress and commitment on SDG16 at this year’s UN High Level Political Forum in July and SDG Summit in September; and

Recalling the Hague Declaration on Access to Justice, adopted on 7 February 2019 at the ministerial meeting to further the achievement of SDG16,

We re-dedicate ourselves to work together to advance the rule of law and achieve justice for all. Accordingly, we:

  • Affirm the rule of law as the foundation of communities of justice, opportunity, and peace;
  • Underscore the central importance of fulfilling SDG16’s promise of “access to justice for all” to achievement of all of the other Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Commit ourselves to take action to accelerate implementation of SDG16 to achieve access to justice for all;
  • Commit to promoting and building people-centered justice systems that help people solve their justice problems and earn their trust in the rule of law.
  • Highlight the importance of multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration, including global partnerships involving national governments and parliaments, businesses, civil society, and international organizations;
  • Recognize the vital contribution of independent civil society organizations in catalyzing reforms and expanding access to justice.
  • Undertake to support and pursue data-collection, research, and learning to better understand people’s legal needs and devise effective strategies to meet them;
  • Encourage justice innovation, including through regulatory and procedural reform that creates a level playing field for legal services and facilitates the expanded use of technology, paralegals and other non-lawyer intermediaries, self-help services and tools, and other new approaches;
  • Advocate reforms of laws and justice sector institutions to protect all human rights for all and meet people’s justice needs;
  • Encourage mobilization of expanded public and private financial, pro bono, and in-kind resources to increase access to quality legal advice, support, and services; and
  • Commit to accountable progress under the Sustainable Development Goals, including through on-going monitoring and reporting of progress on SDG16-related commitments and indicators.

Adopted on this, the 2nd Day of May, 2019, The Hague, The Netherlands.