Access to Justice
We pursue innovative approaches to expanding access to justice to people who lack the power or the resources to secure the protection of the law.
Some 4 billion people around the world are excluded from the law’s protection, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation or even violence at the hands of the powerful.
The Justice Initiative works with a range of international and national partners to develop and implement strategies to provide free or low-cost legal assistance. We work with civil society and governments to develop and expand partnerships for civil and criminal legal aid. We advance community-based responses, such as the use of paralegals to provide basic legal information and assistance. And we engage with international efforts to strengthen access to justice for economic and social development, as part of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
A New Guide Shows the Way Forward on Expanding Access to Justice
A new guide produced by the Open Society Justice Initiative with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) provides a road-map for the development of national tools to assess and improve access to justice.
A Community-Based Practitioner’s Guide: Documenting Citizenship and Other Forms of Legal Identity
This guide provides instructions on how to establish a community-based paralegal program to help people document citizenship and other forms of legal identity.
Volunteer Lawyers Give New Direction to Nigerian Legal Aid Initiative
In the town of Ikorodu, local lawyers are delivering free legal aid to detainees within 48 hours of arrest and joining an effort to steer people charged with nonviolent crimes away from unnecessary detention.
In fighting COVID-19, Sierra Leone Should Learn from Ebola Mistakes
As Sierra Leone works to contain the pandemic, there has not yet been a proper reckoning for the high-level corruption that tainted the country's ultimately successful battle against Ebola.
Kenya's National Integrated Identity Management Scheme (NIIMS)
Kenya's introduction of a national digital identity scheme has triggered protests from local human rights and community groups concerned with both privacy, and the scheme's impact on minority communities.
Kenya’s Controversial Digital ID Scheme Faces Pushback
Kenya ushered in a national biometric ID system with little public input. Now, advocates are challenging the government in the courts to ensure inclusive policies and data privacy.
- Access to Justice
- Economic Justice
- International Justice
- Criminal Justice
- Civic Space
- Discrimination and Equality
- Rule of Law
- National Security and Counterterrorism