Topic: Access to Justice
Arrest Rights Challenge
In Poland, many accused don’t have access to a lawyer until the investigation into their case has been completed. This brief challenges the practice, which undermines the fundamental right to a fair trial.
Presumption of Innocence in Mexico Project Launches Studies on Pretrial Detention
Mexico's widespread overuse of pretrial detention is costly, harmful, and ineffective. It is also unjust. To combat this problem, the Open Society Justice Initiative today launched a series of publications on pretrial justice in coordination with...
Statement on Pretrial Detention and Discrimination
Advocates including the Open Society Foundations speak out on the estimated three million people around the world behind bars awaiting trial—many of whom are from the poorest and most marginalized sectors of society.
AIDS Conference Looks at Pretrial Detention as a Public Health Issue
Two sessions at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City explored the role of pretrial detention in spreading disease.
Draft Legal Aid Law Unveiled in Kyrgyzstan
The administration of the president of Kyrgyzstan today officially presented a new draft law on legal aid, with input from the Open Society Justice Initiative.
Ukraine Public Defender Office Promotes Rights of the Accused
A newly opened public defender office—a joint project of the Open Society Justice Initiative and two other civil society groups—recorded a major success last week when it was assured by Regional Director of Kharkiv Police that local police will...
Mexico Plans Its First Pretrial Services Agency
Mexican officials gathered in Chihuahua to plan the country's first pretrial services agency at a meeting organized and led by the Open Society Justice Initiative and its Mexican partner organization, Renace.
Open Society Justice Initiative Hosts Pretrial Detention Workshop
In an effort to advance a common and global ability to diagnose problems in pretrial detention and measure the impact of efforts to change pretrial detention practices, the Open Society Justice Initiative is hosting a two-day workshop.
Georgia's First Public Defender Office Opens in Tbilisi
Georgia’s first public defender office will provide legal aid for criminal defendants unable to afford a lawyer thanks to a pilot program established with technical assistance from the Open Society Justice Initiative and others.
Momentum for Legal Aid Reform Builds Across Europe and Beyond
The Second European Access to Justice Forum, organized by the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Public Interest Law Initiative, met to discuss the need to reform legal aid systems.
Fact Sheet: Improving Pretrial Justice in Mexico
Over 40 percent of prisoners in Mexico are awaiting trial. To address the problem, the state of Morelos worked with the Open Society Justice Initiative to establish a program to manage supervised pretrial release.
Fact Sheet: Pretrial Detention and the Risk of Torture
Of the nearly ten million people in detention around the world, those held before trial or conviction are most at risk of torture.
Fact Sheet: Pretrial Justice and Paralegals in Sierra Leone
The majority of Sierra Leone's prison population is in pretrial detention. To reduce the numbers, a local NGO is piloting a prorgam that provides early legal assistance to criminal defendants.
Fact Sheet: Pretrial Detention and Health
The excessive use of pretrial detention leads to overcrowded, dirty, chaotic, and violent environments where pretrial detainees, who have not been convicted, are at risk of contracting disease.
Fact Sheet: Improving Pretrial Justice in Africa
Organizations across the region are working to combat excessive pretrial detention. Find out where and how.
Justice Initiatives: Legal Empowerment
Eight case studies look at how legal empowerment projects can reduce poverty and help people realize their rights; with a forward by George Soros.
Pretrial Justice: Ensuring Fair Treatment for the Poor
James A. Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative, set out a range of steps needed to ensure fair treatment of the poor by national justice systems during a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Legal Tools: Right to Legal Aid
Part of a toolkit on arrest rights in Europe, this “template brief” from the Open Society Justice Initiative provides lawyers with research on the right to legal aid for suspects and accused persons.
Justice 2015: Successful Models for Partnership and Implementation
Around the world, efforts to strengthen access to justice are having a tangible impact on development. This fact sheet illustrates how partnerships involving government, business, civil society, and others are key to success.
Improving Pretrial Justice: The Roles of Lawyers and Paralegals
This report looks at the positive impact that early intervention by lawyers and paralegals can have on pretrial justice and provides a guide to the ways in which lawyer and paralegal schemes can be set up.