5. Strategy 2: Scaling gamechanging justice services

5

5. Strategy 2: Scaling gamechanging justice services

Trend Report 2021 – Delivering Justice / 5. Strengthening gamechangers: main points

Before explaining in Chapter 6 how potential gamechangers can be turned into an investable opportunity, we indicate the main points of attention for each gamechanger. What do they need to scale effective services in a sustainable way?

From our research and experience of working closely with providers of justice services, we have learnt the following. These issues need to be addressed in a feasibility study informing the investment in a gamechanger.

Click on a gamechanger below and find out more.

Having ensured that game-changing justice services can provide high-quality treatments, the task force should turn to effective delivery of the services. Each of the game-changing services needs to reach 10.000s or 100.000s of people with pressing justice problems every year. To achieve this, a service needs to be scalable. The wya the service is organised ensures that the marginal cost of serving one more user with a justice problem is considerably lower than the extra revenue this user will generate. This margin can then be reinvested to improve the service, manage risks and reward investors.

In this chapter, we explore what is needed to turn a promising gamechanger into an investable opportunity. A sound plan for a game-changing justice service has a number of mutually reinforcing elements, which are described below.

Pilots, startups and new courts: the potential gamechangers

Game-changing justice services are being developed already. Community justice services exist in many countries. Mature startups deliver contracts online. Problem-solving courts are widespread. These gamechangers once started as small services: in the first neighborhood where Colombia’s houses of justice were piloted; in a single court in Brooklyn; or on the very first version of LegalZoom’s website.

Entrepreneurial judges, lawyers and IT professionals turn ideas for new services into pilots and justice startups. These startups and pilots make up an important part of the justice ecosystem. The number of innovation attempts in the justice sector is substantial. In 2011, Oxfam alone supported 800 rule of law programmes, most of them aimed at better justice services for vulnerable groups. Courts around the world often run multiple pilots in parallel.

Once the taskforce has decided which gamechangers are needed, it can cooperate with an accelerator programme to select the most promising existing service providers. The table below identifies early stage services that follow the path of promising gamechangers. 

EARLY STAGE GAMECHANGERS SCOUTED AND/OR SUPPORTED BY THE HIIL ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME

Gamechangers category
Examples
Community justice services
Bataka Court Model (Uganda) HiiL Accelerator cohort 2018-19 Houses of Justice/ Casas de Justicia (Colombia)
User-friendly contracts
Creative Contracts (South Africa) HiiL Accelerator cohort 2017-18
One-stop dispute resolution
Uitelkaar.nl (Netherlands) HiiL Accelerator cohort 2013-14
Problem-solving courts
Mental Health Courts/ Therapeutic Jurisprudence (US) HiiL Accelerator cohort 2013-14
Claiming platforms
Haqdarshak (India)  HiiL Accelerator cohort 2018-19
Prevention programmes (fraud, violence)
Yunga (Uganda) HiiL Accelerator cohort 2019-20 Ushahidi (Kenya) HiiL Accelerator cohort 2015-16 Appruve (Nigeria) HiiL Accelerator cohort 2019-20
Online legal information/advice
DIY Law (Nigeria) HiiL Accelerator cohort 2015-16

Alternatively, the task force can opt for developing a new service. The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) in British Columbia is an example of the latter. The CRT was set up as a result of an initiative by a group of justice leaders in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The first problem-solving court in the US was also created as a new court instead of a pilot within an existing court. 

Governments often choose to set up new tribunals outside of the existing court structure. Ombuds, specialised tribunals and houses of justice did not grow out of the existing courts. This follows a more general innovation practice. Mature, large organisations that want to break new ground have learned that the corporate structure – with all its regulations and social norms – is not ideal for innovative ventures. Typically, they base their startups outside the existing organisation. Eventually, when the new way of serving users has matured, it can be brought back into the corporate structure. This happened with the many tribunals that had been set up in England and Wales that later became part of an overarching organisation of courts and tribunals.

  • The HiiL Accelerator Programme works with justice startups. These innovators are primarily in the private sector but also include intrapreneurs working from within justice sector organisations. Justice innovation hubs have been set up in Johannesburg, Kampala, Kieve, Lagos and  Nairobi. 
  • Several ministries of justice run their own innovation programs, among them the ministries of Netherlands, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Proving the concept: conducting a feasibility study and piloting

The service already exists, or has been piloted. In business language, it should have market validation. In language more fitting to government services, a feasibility study is needed. Unless the selected service is already on track towards effectiveness, scale and sustainability, it can be seen as a pilot or an early stage startup. A pilot and the experiences of a startup deliver a wealth of knowledge about justice needs, effective treatments, possible revenue models and barriers to bringing the service to scale.

The validation or feasibility study confirms to what extent the service is already effective, and what should be improved. This work is usually carried out in partnership with independent evaluators. It identifies a gamechanger’s main barriers to scale. A feasibility study consolidates the learnings from the existing service or pilot with knowledge from other sources. It details what improvements are needed and assesses how likely it is that these improvements can be made. The feasibility study identifies the main points of attention for the gamechanger and explains how they will be addressed.

Standardising delivery: channels and value proposition

Justice services are often very personal in how they are delivered. Judges develop their own ways of talking with the parties during a court hearing, which is the key moment when they can influence them. This can in turn increase the resolution rate of the court service and the quality of the outcomes it delivers. An online platform referring people to lawyers is only as effective as the lawyer who handles the case, and each lawyer develops an individual approach. 

Scaling implies standardisation and effective outcomes, which is closely linked to evidence-based practice and to financial sustainability. Better quality services are more likely to lead to a revenue model that is sustainable and scalable. Users, governments and communities are more likely to pay for a service that actually solves most land problems. This, in turn, will provide a better business case for investments, which could be either public, private or mixed.

Solutions that work increase resolution rates. Outcomes are well-defined and monitored, making the quality of the service visible. 

Standardised, effective treatments also need to be delivered through standardised channels. The user-facing side can be a justice worker in a community or a website. Additional assistance can be organised through a telephone, help desk, or chat function. The guideline for treating the justice problem needs to be translated into practical steps for employees, including scripts for key interactions with users. Once tasks are defined and allocated, the time that they take can be estimated. This further standardisation can lead to efficiency gains. 

At the same time, the individual person seeking justice should feel heard and be served as an individual person. Justice problems often have high impact and cause distress. People need to feel heard and want to be respected. This is a challenge for any court, police station or startup delivering justice services. 

At the same time that the service is standardised, each user needs to feel respected as an individual. This individualisation should be built into every delivery model for justice services. Disrespect is the most common feeling associated with an injustice. So for justice services, treating customers respectfully and not as a case or a number to be processed is particularly crucial. Effective legal help offered online should be combined with options in-person assistance, for example. 

In order to benefit from it, sers need to know that a service exists. Individually, they are unlikely to encounter more than one land problem, one major crime issue or one separation in their lifetime. Searching on the web or consulting friends should lead them to the game-changing service. Substantial investments in marketing are needed for this. Currently, people go to many different agencies and individual service providers, each trying to compete for attention online or in communities. Widespread awareness can be achieved, however. Colombia’s houses of justice are known by 70-80 percent of the population, even though only 2 percent of the population (10 percent of the poor) use them. 

Awareness on its own is not sufficient. Game-changing services need to develop a very clear value proposition. In HiiL’s work with justice innovators, this has proven to be an important element bringing a service to scale.  gamechangers aim to offer a standardised service with a high resolution rate. Instead of telling a client that he or she may either win or lose the case depending on how a judge sees it, the service providers should try to be as clear as possible about outcomes.  

People would not be referred to an excellent lawyer, but rather learn about what the service will aim for. The value proposition for a one stop procedure for land conflicts could include a stable agreement about rights of use and ownership. A defendant struggling with substance use and repeated justice system involvement  would like to know what a problem-solving process would deliver for him. How would his life change after participating in the process? 

The value proposition of justice services provided by courts needs the most work. Judges routinely tell parties to conflict that a decision will not solve their problem. Prosecutors in the US, Uganda and in every country in between talk about diversion, suggesting that the service that the court provides is not effective. Community justice services, by contrast, have a more convincing value proposition: a peaceful resolution that restores social harmony and is supported by the community.

Bringing in sustainable revenues: the financial model

Task forces are likely to underestimate the potential of justice services to generate sustainable revenues. In our 2020 Trend Report, Charging for Justice, we investigated possible sources of revenues for justice services in detail. Here we provide some of the highlights. 

People with justice problems are prepared to spend considerable amounts of money. HiiL surveys that have investigated willingness to pay find that it is considerable, even in low-income countries. This can be explained by the significant impacts that justice problems have in people’s lives. Although the high price of lawyers is generally seen as a barrier to justice, legal needs surveys paint a different picture. Only a small percentage of people with justice problems who do not use a lawyer mention price as the main barrier to resolution. 

Based on these data, our report hypothesised that the quality of justice services is the main obstacle when it comes to willingness to pay. From a user perspective, hiring a lawyer is not very attractive. The outcomes are uncertain and one of the possible end points of the justice journey, a court judgment, may not deliver the outcomes a user needs.  

Game-changing justice services, which focus on the outcomes people need, can be far more attractive for users and in turn increase their willingness to pay. Smart fee systems can be developed, with pay structures that make use of services far more attractive. Smart fee systems optimise who pays for what and when they pay. 

User contributions are possible even when the target group is low-income. In Uganda, the Local Council Courts charge fees from users in rural areas that help to cover the costs of the tribunals. Providers of justice services can also consider taking contributions from the other party to the dispute, who may have deeper pockets being a landlord or an employer. The community is often prepared to contribute to the costs of justice delivery as well (volunteers may for example act as third parties, and civil servants may act as mediators). Government subsidies for courts or legal aid are common. An effective gamechanger can attract targeted subsidies for the most vulnerable users. 

The size of a smart fee should have some relationship to the costs of the service delivered. Pay-as-you-go systems have been developed in which accessing information is free, but support to achieve a settlement generates a fee. This fee can increase if a client needs mediation, adjudication or additional interventions that may be required in  complicated situations. Government subsidies or cross-subsidisation can be used to avoid a situation where people who need a solution most are not able to afford it. Germany implements cross-subsidisation through fee schedules that charge rather high fees from corporate plaintiffs with substantial financial claims.  

Task forces can also consider the timing of contributions. Court fee systems are often poorly designed. The user – who is likely to suffer financially from the justice problem –  often has to pay up front, many months, or even many years before the court provides relief. This arrangement also misses the opportunity to incentivise courts to deliver more useful judgments earlier. Smart fee systems optimise all of this.  

Vital public services like health care would ideally be free at the point of service for a basic package. In order to achieve that ideal, countries engaged in decades of innovation, resulting in: improved quality of services leading to greater willingness to pay; increased revenues leading to greater investment in better services; the development of private and public insurance models; government coordination; and willingness to contribute to the health of fellow citizens. All of this helps to ensure 100 percent access. 

  • HiiL, Charging for Justice, 2020 provides an overview of how justice services can be made financially sustainable. It includes a chapter on smart fee systems for justice services. 

Scaling the service: reaching the target population

The transition from reaching 100s of people to covering a country’s entire population is best done on the basis of a scaling plan. Setting up or improving community justice services is often done geographically, area by area. One-stop shop procedures are most often implemented for one problem type at a time. 

Contracting platforms typically develop standardised wills, family relationship contracts, employment contracts and/or rental contracts before they go live. This kind of minimum product package is needed before scale can be achieved. Integrating customer feedback to achieve optimum product-market fit is also important.

LegalZoom: scaling and improving

LegalZoom is often characterised as a ‘disruptive innovation’ or an innovation that brought about a paradigmatic shift. Time and again, the company has introduced cutting-edge services that have had success in the commercial market and simultaneously made legal services more affordable than before. To date, the company has over 4 million customers. One important factor that has enabled LegalZoom in scaling is the company’s problem-solving outlook. 

LegalZoom did not become complacent once its first venture – legal documents – became commercially successful. Rather, it sought to resolve more and other problems that people faced, one of which was obtaining legal advice from qualified lawyers for a modest fee. To address this problem, the company offered a prepaid legal plan to customers. As per the plan, customers can schedule unlimited 30 minute consultations with lawyers on personal and business matters for a fee starting from 10 dollars a month. 

Thus, by diversifying its services, LegalZoom was able to tap into different sections of the market, expand its customer base and position itself as an attractive innovation to investors. 

As one interviewee said, 

Many times, innovators are [so] carried away by the strengths of their innovation, that they forget to further innovate. Afterall, the innovator is trying to resolve problems. By limiting the innovation to a certain set of problems, the innovation limits its own growth. Instead, if the innovator adopts an attitude where he or she is looking to resolve new and more problems, it automatically broadens the scope of the innovation. By continuing to address problems, the innovation boosts its own effectiveness and ability to reach out to more people than before.

Rolling out a service is a specialism. High fidelity to the treatments that have been agreed is crucial. The leadership and staff that are needed to ensure that the service is rolled out well usually are to be different from the leadership and staff needed at the initial innovation stages. Useful experiences can be obtained from other public services such as financial inclusion and providing electricity to low-income areas of the world. These services have made important strides towards scale in recent years. 

They often started as private sector initiatives backed by impact investors. Later on, such services can be included in or validated by the relevant government agency. In these ways, justice services can reach many more users.

M-PESA and scaling justice services

The proliferation of mMobile phones in developing countries isare contributing to equal treatment of vulnerable groups. Their use – in financial inclusion, increasing access to education, and many other Sustainable Development Goals – cannot be underestimated. 

M-PESA is a large-scale mobile phone-based payment service working towardsensuring financial inclusion in Kenya. The scaling history of M-PESA provides interesting lessons. Launched as a public-private partnership by Vodafone and Safaricom with the support of a grant from the UK government, the initiative began as a pilot programme. The overwhelming response M-PESA received from the people in Kenya encouraged the company to scale it across the country.

Initially, the service was launched as a phone-based micro-lending initiative. However, after realising that the customers were using the product for a number of alternative purposes, the team decided to change the value proposition to allow people to make payments through the application.

Studies about M-PESA provide evidence of this public-private partnership’s success in increasing financial resilience and saving as well as in allocating resources more efficiently.  In 2016, a research paper by MIT estimated that the initiative had lifted 2 percent of Kenyans out of poverty. The research also found that the impact of M-PESA on female-headed households was more than twice the average measured.

The challenge of closing the justice gap is very different from solving unequal access to electricity or access to financial services. Still, many lessons can be learned from how other public services have approached the scale challenge.

Securing investments: an investment plan that entices funders

The task of securing investments for justice services warrants a separate report. Here, we mention a few key learnings from our work.

One insight is that the public and the private justice sectors use different kinds of investment approaches and invest for different reasons. In the public justice sector, major “investments” are made in court buildings and IT infrastructure. These investments often seem to be costs of maintaining services that are slipping. Investment plans for the public justice sector are often accompanied by talk about “dilapidated” court buildings and “paper files.” New court buildings and paperless offices are the deliverables.   

Our view on investments is closer to that of the private sector. Investments should be aiming for growing justice services and improving their quality. An investment plan details the resources needed for the game-changing service to scale. Investments come in different rounds to support the scaling process. As a service reaches more people, its revenues grow. The investments are needed to finance the scaling process until further scaling can be paid from the growing revenue stream. 

The justice sector can do a much better job in securing investments. Development think tank Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has investigated funding mechanisms for justice in several studies and found that investments in justice by international donors are stalling. Private investments in people-centred justice are also minimal in comparison with so-called investments in legal tech initiatives that primarily serve major law firms and businesses.  

A second observation is that game-changing justice services cannot scale on the basis of the usual grants of a few 100.000s of euros from NGOs and international donors. The resources necessary to bring a service to scale require investments in the range of millions and tens of millions of euros. This kind of money is needed to sustain a strong team, validation, the effort and tools for standardising the service and the execution of the scaling plan. This includes marketing and awareness raising. 

Third insight: this is considerable money and at the same time very little money. Compared to the social benefits of a game-changing justice service, the investments required are rather small. The gamechangers tend to have low fixed costs compared to other investments in national infrastructure, such as internet connections, electricity grids and networks of hospitals heavy with medical equipment. For example, fixed costs for community justice programs consist of the money needed for developing treatment guidelines, standardised working methods, IT infrastructure and a team that can ensure delivery of consistent and high-quality services by justice practitioners in communities. 

Delivering justice primarily involves sharing information and connecting people through sophisticated interaction processes. An infrastructure for data collection on outcomes is also crucial. This infrastructure requires considerable investment but once the necessary laws, processes and interaction formats are in place, justice services can be brought to city neighborhoods and rural areas at costs much lower than the costs of expanding the roads and 5G networks.

Justice services, investors and mission creep

Based on its work with justice start ups, members of the HiiL Accelerator team developed the following case for the scaling program. 

After five years of work experience in a law firm in Pakistan, Waqqas comes up with the idea of developing an online platform to process consumer claims, called Claimz. The venture sees great success in the initial stages and the number of Claimz users starts growing. The users find it very easy to navigate the platform and feel that their voice is being heard by the big MNCs and the government who would otherwise not entertain their legitimate complaints. With several awards for their exemplary initiative and media articles under their belt, Waqqas and his team start considering the possibility of raising serious investment to scale Claimz. 

The team receives good mentorship as part of an accelerator programme, which  puts them into contact with several angel investors and impact investing firms.

Many pitches and a number of sleepless nights later, the team receives the required funding from a prestigious angel investor in South Asia. They are jubilant and excited to scale the venture not only across Pakistan but also South Asia, as promised in their business plans.

After a few months of working under the guidance of the angel investors, it becomes evident that the vision of Waqqas and his team is getting further and further apart from that of the investors. The investors start putting conditions on their continued investment, which the Claimz team feels are increasingly pushing them out of the justice domain.

Not only do the investors expect the team to start serving individuals with legal issues other than consumer complaints, they make the next round of funding contingent on serving general consumer queries on the platform, starting from electricity and gas payments to movie tickets.

While the proposal of the investors was guaranteed to bring Claimz to scale and bring in more users, Waqqas and his team begin to wonder if they are staying true to their original mission.

What should the Claimz team do in these circumstances?

The team leading the game-changing service should carefully consider what type of investors will best match their mission. The case study in the box above illustrates this. Private investors may be guided by a short-term horizon and financial returns. Innovators in the HiiL Accelerator that come from the start up scene are often interacting with the type of investors who stimulate them to move towards additional revenue streams that can be accessed easily. 

Justice sector investors sometimes struggle to understand that more substantial growth can come from linking the services to courts and other government justice services. Understandably, they are reluctant to support scaling plans that need the cooperation of government agencies. They see this as high-risk and unpredictable. 

Social impact investors and public-private partnerships may be more suitable sources of funding for game-changing justice services. In five of the seven gamechanger models, the submission problem of having to satisfy two parties with different objectives is a barrier to growth. Cooperation with the government can solve this problem and open up a path to rapid growth. Investing in lobbying for a level playing field may be a way to get access to the market for mandatory services that are certified by the government.

Enhancing leadership and team

Setting up or substantially scaling a gamechanger requires effective leadership. Private investors are extremely conscious about the teams of the innovations they consider funding. For justice services implemented by governments, this is also a major point of attention. 

Access to the right mentorship is critical at different stages of an innovation’s growth. This is especially important when an innovation is expanding, raising additional funding and forming a market share for the justice service they offer. Whether the service is based in a government agency or in a startup, it needs growth in user numbers.

Problem-solving courts: the promises and pitfalls of strong leadership

Strong leadership has been essential to problem-solving courts’ ability to deliver the treatment outcomes people need at scale. Without the leadership of visionary judges and other leaders aiming to do things differently, they would never have come into existence in the first place. 

Because of the tendency to maintain the status quo, individual problem-solving courts also rarely get off the ground without a strong champion. The reason for this can be traced to problem-solving principles and practices themselves: the goal is not to force people to change, but to make them change because they want to. In the same way, effective leaders can persuade system actors that problem-solving justice is the way to achieve common goals.

Community courts in particular require strong leadership. This can sometimes pose problems for the courts’ long-term stability. For example, a community court in North Liverpool was championed by prominent national politicians. Their leadership was important for the court’s establishment and initial funding, but changes in national leadership and the lack of local support were major factors in the court’s ultimate closure.

Community courts may also struggle when their early champions move on. To avoid this and prepare for the eventual departure of the personalities who are driving change, it is important to put the courts’ internal ways of working into writing. As previously discussed, it is also necessary to obtain evidence that the court’s approach works, as this is a more important driver of funding than good leadership in the long-run.

Mid-level leadership within problem-solving courts also matters. Since staff are often employed and supervised by various partner agencies – rather than the director of the project as a whole – it is particularly important that they be selected with care, trained in the project’s mission, policies and practices, and incentivised to work as part of a single team.

In the scale-up phase, innovation leaders need an orientation on managing growth. In HiiL’s accelerator activities, we see that justice innovators are often heavily involved in improving the service. We have seen many judges and lawyer-innovators continuing to handle individual cases during pilots, as well as IT experts who continue to improve their innovation’s web interface while also leading a team. 

A team should have a range of skill sets and methods. Scale-up programmes focus on enhancing more than 20 different capabilities. For example, they focus on developing an innovation’s competitive edge: a unique advantage that makes the service distinctive. 

The data about private sector scale-ups illustrate what kind of teams are successful in bringing a justice service to scale. Most services that scale are established by three or more founders who had previous experience in setting up new activities. Half of founders in the justice sector are insiders, and the most successful founders set up many ventures prior to their current one. They tend to have considerable experience in previous management roles. 

8. Strategy 4: data on problems, impact and outcomes

8

8. Strategy 4:
data on problems,
impact and outcomes

Trend Report 2021 – Delivering Justice / 8. Strategy 4: data on problems, impact and outcomes

Effective people-centred justice critically depends on availability of data. Data collected at the level of service delivery inform the quality of a particular service. Data collected and published at a national level make it possible to monitor progress on the extent to which justice problems are prevented and resolved within the broader population. 

Measuring justice delivery: the benefits of further standardisation

A standardised approach to monitoring the quality of processes and outcomes is crucial for increasing the quality of justice interventions that combine into a process that resolves a justice problem. A standard allows treatments to be compared and evaluated systematically. Currently, evaluation studies for justice interventions each make use of their own methods. Ideally, practitioners and researchers use similar monitoring methods for the process and outcomes of, for example, personal injury cases.

When HiiL developed its measuring justice methodology, standard indicators of procedural justice existed: voice, respect and information people receive when they follow a certain procedure. Further standardisation is needed to measure the quality of justice outcomes, such as distributive justice, restorative justice, effectiveness and transparency.

Measuring the time, money and emotional costs of getting access to justice has also proven to be a challenge. People go through complicated processes to achieve justice and generally find it difficult to disentangle the costs of resolution from the impact of the problem. A better methodology for measuring the burden of seeking justice is needed. One clear and consistent finding is that the emotional costs of this process should not be ignored. The existence of secondary victimisation as a concept is a case in point.  

A task force working on a specific category of justice problems in a country can hardly be expected to contribute to developing these standards. The task force can, however, align with standards that are being considered by international experts. International standards for monitoring problems, impact, outcomes and justice journeys are developing. The sooner this work leads to first versions of worldwide standards, the better.

  • Measures for procedural justice are described in J.A. Colquitt, J.B. Rodell, Measuring justice and fairness, in The Oxford handbook of justice in the workplace, 2015. See also Clara Sabbagh and Manfred Schmitt, Handbook of Social Justice Theory and Research, 2016.
  • Literature review on the psychological costs of litigation: Michaela Keet and Heather Hevin in Farrow and Jacobs, The Justice Crisis, 2020, Chapter 14. A more extensive version can be found in Michaela Keet, Heather Heavin and John Lande, Litigation Interest and Risk Assessment: Help Your Clients Make Good Litigation Decisions, 2020. 

Regular national surveys: needed and difficult to fund

Countrywide data is needed as well. Ideally, data enables the task force and the providers of justice services to monitor progress towards people-centred justice. Widening justice gaps, or increases in the burden of injustice, can signal a need to redirect resources or develop new treatments. 

Data on the economy are published on a quarterly or monthly basis. Crime statistics are typically published on a yearly basis. Data on justice problems, impact, vulnerable groups and outcomes achieved can be collected through standardised surveys that are repeated every year or more frequently. For most sustainable development goals, time series exist that show trends in the performance of different countries. Our World in Data has become a core hub for these data. Few time series related to justice are available. Comparing data occurs mostly between countries while survey repetitions are few and far between. 

When publishing data about justice problems in the population, the task force should reflect on actionability. What information should be shared with which audience? Who can take action on which elements of the data? How do they learn about the data? By conducting Justice Needs and Satisfaction Surveys in a wide range of countries over the years, HiiL has learned how data can be made more actionable.

Survey data are often presented as percentages of populations. For a team looking to scale up a game-changer and do capacity planning, for example, the number of potential users is more meaningful than a percentage. This can easily be estimated from survey data. Specialisation is key. Data users often request that data be grouped by type of justice problem. Breakdowns of specific issues (i.e. divorce or child support) and specific complications (i.e. violence, loss of job, personal injury, relational problems) are also useful. Sample size may become a problem, though, because a survey will not capture that many people with one particular type of justice problem.

Data about impact and outcomes achieved must always be interpreted. Stories, representing the average justice journey, are suggested as an illustration. Justice journey maps – which visualise people’s experiences seeking justice – are another frequent request. Do people need more information to resolve their justice problem? Or is contacting the other party for meaningful negotiation their main bottleneck? Do they need more interpersonal respect? Or was the amount of money they received through the resolution process unfair?   

Survey results are much easier to interpret if they include benchmarks. International rankings such as the ones provided by the World Justice Project and comparisons to neighbouring countries can be helpful. However, few countries consistently perform at a level high enough to be visible in national surveys. Most high-performing services are operating at a small scale. Few countries have scaled a particular service to the entire target group. When selecting benchmarks, this needs to be taken into account.

Securing resources for annual surveys has proven to be a challenge. Victimisation surveys, which were once done in a standardised way across Europe, have been discontinued. Legal needs surveys are administered irregularly. National statistics offices are now asked to include questions about justice in their large population surveys. This happened in South Africa

Surveys can be carried out in person, in people’s homes, through panels organised by data collection companies or through social media. Each method has pros and cons in relation to representativeness. Collecting social media data creates an opportunity to monitor trends in justice needs in real time. HiiL experimented with this during the COVID-19 crisis by comparing social media trends to the observations of experts

Triangulation with other data

Survey data need to be compared with other data. In most of the countries where HiiL has carried out a Justice and Needs Survey (JNS), the World Justice Project has collected more basic access to justice data in the three largest cities. Courts may have user experience data. These forms of data can both be used to enrich existing survey data. 

Access to justice reform programmes are executed by private, public or civil society organisations. Sharing performance and output data with the task force (and the public) in open formats should be part of implementation activities planned by the task force. Indicators for which there is no valid, reliable and constant data have little value.

A flaw of current survey methods is that they miss people who are in prison, homeless, hiding from the authorities. Some people also may have problems that are shameful. They may avoid talking about them or are in denial. Depending on how questions are asked, surveys also may miss the gravest injustices: people dying or disappearing. Survey companies contact people at home, through phone calls, through email or through social media. Reaching the population excluded by these methods requires other methods.

Data on the number of people in these hard-to-reach categories can be used as a proxy. Estimates of these numbers are available in many countries. Each person who is in custody, is homeless or is unregistered is very likely to experience this situation as a justice problem. More reliable data about the problems these people have can be obtained by surveying segments of these populations.

  • HiiL developed a method for triangulation of data, interacting with stakeholders and comparing data from different sources.

Overview

Overview of the report

Trend Report 2021 – Delivering Justice / Overview of the report

Overview of the report

This report is based on HiiL’s many years of collecting data about people’s justice needs and experiences. This work was done together with partners including the World Justice Project, UNDP, the OECD and the Open Society Justice Initiative.

We had conversations with many ministers of justice, chief justices and their immediate teams. They told us about their struggles to set agendas, get them funded and implement them effectively. Dialogues with stakeholders aimed at pathways for reform, now one of the core activities of HiiL, have been an invaluable source of information.

The report is also based on working with many legal help organisations, in Africa and the MENA region, and also in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ukraine and Western Europe, including our home country, the Netherlands. These organisations operate close to the people that experience the access to justice gap: mothers, fathers, workers, landowners, victims of crime, perpetrators of aggression, clients of public services and small businesses. We saw how legal help organisations interact with law firms, government bodies and religious organisations to deliver more effective justice.

In our work with justice innovators we have been close to the realities and experiences of more than one-hundred justice start ups in the past six years. Why did they fail? What allowed them to succeed? What do they and their funders need?
The team further explored this in case studies for this report regarding Legal Zoom in the US, problem-solving courts in several countries, houses of justice in Colombia, a criminal justice case-management system in Sierra Leone and local council courts in Uganda.

Our trend reports integrate these experiences with the latest research on access to justice. Academic research from many disciplines is contributing to this challenge. Evaluations and best practices inform the field and an informal coalition guides the research and developmental work to support people-centred justice. Our work greatly benefits from intensive dialogues and project cooperation with colleagues from the World Justice Project, UNHCR, the World Bank, Namati and the Open Government Partnership

People make the case

In Chapter 1, we provide examples of task forces and how they organised during the 2010s. We show how an international best practices approach is emerging. Access to justice initiatives by the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, the OECD and the EU is supported by a network of specialised organisations working on the rule of law and access to justice including HiiL. One of the driving forces is Sustainable Development Goal 16:

Artboard 1

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

The case for developing sound justice strategies is now moving hearts and minds. Injustice is a powerful motivator. When injustice is systemic, people gather on the streets to ask for fairness and redress. When the effects of globalisation threaten livelihoods, feelings of injustice heighten. A task force ideally also engages with positive emotions. Justice encourages finding peace, improving relationships and enabling growth.

The business case for improving access to justice is strong and can be quantified. Justice problems occur frequently. In a typical megacity or state with eight million people, 1 million residents will experience a pressing justice problem each year. Half of those problems will have a major negative impact. The annual burden of injustice imposed by only one category of problems (land justice, employment justice, crime) can easily add up to hundreds of millions of euros.

This calculation illustrates what can happen if the justice ecosystem fails to give people a voice and provide effective remedies. Data suggest that a substantial proportion of the population will experience feelings of frustration or neglect within a few years.

Governments across the world rightly see this as a threat to stability. In 2011, the World Bank already established the link between effective grievance mechanisms and the prevention of armed conflict.

The business case is also positive: more fairness will improve well-being. When people are relieved of an existential threat to their livelihood and can manage their relationships through more effective contracts, their contribution to the economy can grow.

Future-focused, well-scoped and smart about implementation

In Chapter 2, we look at how justice leaders are coming together in various kinds of groupings. In this report, we call them task forces: multidisciplinary groups that have committed to improving access to justice in one way or another. These task forces appear because ownership for the quality of justice is unclear and distributed among several institutions, each working independently. Court managers, administrative (labor, housing, family) agencies, ministries, prosecutors, private suppliers of justice services and “justice startups” need the skills, resources and resilience to navigate these challenges. We detail how justice task forces have been formed, how they build up legitimacy and what can be learned from their experiences. 

Task forces need to be resourced in a way that matches the size of their challenge. Early on, they envision a pathway forward, which includes implementation in terms of budgets and operations. They are familiar with the political, legal, administrative and financial environment. Most importantly, task forces build coalitions that ensure that their plans and designs become a reality. Smart task forces know how to turn ideas into organisations, programmes and policies by harnessing the public and the private sector’s potential.  

In the past, task forces have carried out ambitious analyses of justice gaps. They have identified flaws in the procedures and organisation of justice sector institutions. The reports they produced suggested long lists of improvements. Other task forces have focused on one class of injustices that happened in the past. One task force dealt with the impact of 9/11. Others designed remedies for crimes committed by members of religious organisations. 

Successful task forces are now future-oriented and start with determining their work scope (Chapter 3). Based on data, they prioritise the most pressing justice problems that need resolution now. They may focus on domestic violence or land problems. Alternatively, they may set out to improve the conditions for a particular relationship: informal and formal marriage, work relationships or to contract land and housing. State-of-the-art task forces set goals, establish indicators and set outcome-based targets. Benefiting from lessons learned, they try to avoid “justice innovation traps.” Instead, they focus on a few promising categories of justice services. These potential game-changers are developing across countries in response to the massive demand for justice.

People-centred justice builds on what works

In past decades, justice task forces have focused on laws, court infrastructure or more affordable legal services. Most experts now suggest that task forces commit to a people-centred justice approach. This builds on the successful 30 percent: improving what already works in courts, informal justice and other settings where people prevent and resolve issues. By systematically delivering better results for people, and by leveraging the contributions of other providers of justice, formal justice institutions can increase their legitimacy.  

When people experience justice problems, they often rely on friends and family for advice. Police officers, judges and lawyers deliver justice as a calling and for a living. Data reveals that the everyday practice of law trends towards coordinated problem solving with appropriate sanctions where needed. Research confirms this fits better with the outcomes people demand once they feel heard and respected. This approach also reflects how most communities respond to injustice, driven especially by a collective desire to restore harmony and prevent escalation. Politicians responsible for justice increasingly try to build on informal justice and restorative practices to aim for fair and prosperous societies. Social impact investors and philanthropists are prepared to sponsor the cause of inclusive societies and with equal access to justice for all.

The people-centred way of solving justice problems differs from what viewers see on Netflix and what law schools teach. There, justice is depicted as an adversarial game driven by a flow of accusations, claims and defenses, and culminating in verdicts providing relief. Cases reported by the media tend to be outliers, hardly representative of the one million justice problems that occur every year in a typical country of eight million. Task forces and justice innovators thus need to reflect on their communication strategy. 

Game-changing justice services are around the corner

What are task forces recommending and how do they approach implementation? Seven game-changing justice services are already on their radar or should be considered. Many initiatives seek to improve informal justice in communities, using interdisciplinary expertise to turn them into high-quality services for basic justice needs. User-friendly contracts can strengthen the ties and exchanges key to a sustainable livelihood: relationships at home, at work and about land or housing.

Adjudication and mediation can merge into one-stop-shop procedures, supported online and focused on increasing the capacity of courts to settle and decide more complex conflicts. Problem-solving courts specialising in the most common causes of crime are a success story that can be replicated. Claiming services already help people to access vital government services and increase accountability. Prevention of violence, theft and fraud can be programmed. Advice and legal assistance by lawyers can be facilitated online, offering a step-by-step resolution.

The case studies for this report illustrate how game-changing justice innovation relies on coordination. Bottom-up innovation of dispute resolution systems is hampered by regulation that is focused on producing verdicts through litigation. While courts and the rule of law need to be strengthened as government foundations, courts are only part of the picture. Successful justice systems encompass multiple coordinated avenues to resolve disputes. The transition towards more responsive justice institutions must occur in a setting where courts and other government agencies are overburdened. People-centred justice should, therefore, both change and reinforce institutions, thus increasing their legitimacy. This underlines the need for a systematic approach.

Five strategic interventions are needed

We argue that justice task forces should consider five strategic interventions focused on strengthening potential game-changers:

      1. Promoting evidence-based practice: justice practitioners and informal justice providers make high impact interventions in people’s lives. Task forces should ensure that interventions by justice practitioners are focused on the outcomes that people need, and that progress is monitored. Interventions should be standardised and improved continuously, based on best practices and informed by research. This will increase resolution rates and prevent new injustices. (Chapter 4)
      2. Innovating service delivery through potential gamechangers: Better and demonstrable results will attract more users. If justice services can be standardised and improved, they will generate more sustainable revenue streams for courts and other providers of justice services. The often difficult work can be better rewarded and interest from investors can grow. Improved organisational models, leadership and teams can ensure that justice services are scalable, gradually moving towards equal access for all (Chapter 5 and 6). 
      3. Improving the enabling environment for gamechangers: Innovation often requires new types of regulation, budgeting and public-private partnerships. Capital for investments needs to be mobilized and must lead to acceptable returns with social impact that can be measured (Chapter 7).
      4. Setting up the support structure of data and know-how: Systematic programming requires real-time data on the prevalence of justice problems, the ways problems are currently resolved by different segments of the population, outcomes and impacts. Applying and promoting international standards for data collection is necessary to ensure that results can be compared within and across jurisdictions, and that progress can be measured (Chapter 8). 
      5. Maintaining momentum nationally and internationally: Demand for justice from people needs to be channelled and supply needs to be coordinated. New institutions will be needed to support and provide services that meet the demand. Existing institutions will face an acute need to change. Task forces, therefore, need to strengthen the incentives on courts and other institutions, stimulating them to use the innovation potential in society. We sketch how a task force can turn into a permanent unit ensuring access to justice (Chapter 9).

In the pages that follow, we present the logic and knowledge base behind each strategic intervention. We also describe the methods HiiL and others are developing to support people-centred justice programming. The supporting case studies can be found here:

A massive undertaking with a worthy cause

What needs to be done is urgent, necessary and difficult. COVID-19, the global economic crisis and the decline in the rule of law make change even more paramount. Much effort has been put into strengthening justice systems in recent decades. Some things have worked, while others have yet to make an impact. Justice leaders at the top work to improve institutions: strengthening and increasing their capacity with training, new IT systems and better performance management. Grassroots leaders and justice practitioners resolve conflicts and cope with crime, improving and scaling how they work in villages and city neighbourhoods. But is all of this done in a systematic and coherent way that leads to real change? 

Ministers of justice have short mandates. They are limited by short-term election cycles and their lives are dictated by unexpected crises for which they must take responsibility. Many of the skills necessary to make change are not the kind of skills that justice practitioners and their leaders have learned in law schools. The justice sector is full of opposing interests that need to be turned into shared opportunities: judiciaries, bar associations, civil society organisations and the many agencies that compete for government budgets.

With that said, our analysis suggests that the effort needed to systematically bridge the justice gap is less massive than what is needed to solve other wicked problems affecting governments: poverty, COVID-19 or climate change. Economist Mariana Mazzucato has made the case for governments to identify and address “moonshot” challenges that require cooperation and the adoption of new technologies. Most of the technologies needed to take on justice challenges are known. Life is often peaceful, and humans have vast experience in resolving conflict and preventing crime. Implementing the best ways of working systematically and through new forms of cooperation is the primary challenge. 

The emerging picture of an improved justice system is inspiring. Instead of signposting a long and winding path to relief, task forces can now actually take steps to ensure fair outcomes for people when injustices threaten their livelihoods. Most injustices have many causes and need to be addressed by a combination of interventions, in which the individuals affected and the broader community have a role. Pursuing peace and justice for each pressing justice problem can restore and transform relationships between people and increase individual well-being. The macro-level task is hard but people have found fair solutions, recovered from injustices and achieved peace of mind countless times. Learning from experience and innovating justice systematically can help resolve at scale the most pressing justice problems.

Print Friendly – Covid-19 Wave 1

The graphs are being generated in real time so please bear with us till they are fully loaded and then click the Print button at the end of the page.




Surge of injustice expected Targeted response required to guarantee peace and justice

Thought leaders in the justice sector are concerned about a looming wave of legal problems. They expect incidents of injustice to surge. This may lead to civil unrest in some countries. Business as usual – by courts and police enforcing laws, with legal services available for the few – is unlikely to work. Thought leaders offered clear indications on how courts, ministers of justice and politicians should respond to safely and effectively deliver justice.

The inability to respond in a timely and effective manner to concerns by average citizens will further entrench the perception that the justice system favors the wealthy and the well connected.

Data are needed to guide the response

We invite you to explore views of thought leaders for your country

As a first step, we asked thought leaders in the countries where we work about their views on the impact of Covid-19 on the delivery of justice. Two-hundred and seventy one leaders from more than 20 countries engaged in this dialogue via an online questionnaire.

The respondents have significant experience. Sixty-eight percent have more than 10 years of professional experience and 18% more than 6 years. Twenty-six percent are lawyers, 19% work for NGOs, 13% are judges or prosecutors, 9% are academics and 8% are justice innovators.

The interactive charts below allow you to explore the detailed views of these leaders, country by country.

Immediate response

We first asked what justice institutions did to adapt to the Covid-19 challenge. In many countries, justice institutions were closed (May 2020). Video-conferencing solutions were widely implemented and rules of procedure were changed through emergency laws.

Currently most justice systems are only applying technology to the same inaccessible systems instead of rethinking the entire justice delivery model. Part of the problem is the very rigid regulation that governs justice systems.

Expected justice problems and impact

Justice needs research carried out before the pandemic shows that the five most prevalent categories of justice problems are land, family, crime, employment and neighbour disputes.

Increase in number of conflicts and disputes

The thought leaders expect a surge in disputes that are directly related to the global economic depression, including business problems, debt, and employment disputes. They also anticipate that the economic crisis and the public health measures will put intense pressure on families and communities, leading to a significant increase in family disputes and domestic violence. Other disputes, including (access to) welfare, health bills and insurance, tax, and housing issues are also expected to increase worldwide. 

The vulnerable will be hit hardest by the crisis. Interventions to increase access to justice should be targeted to address the needs of this group.

Regarding the effect of the pandemic on crime, variation across regions is very significant.

A small increase or even a slight decrease is expected in Europe and other high and middle income nations.

A sharp increase in crime is expected in low and lower-middle income countries (particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa).

Individual thought leaders also pointed to:

  • Challenges faced by the poor, women & children and people with mental health issues exacerbated by debt caused by the Covid-19 measures
  • Unlawful dismissals and non-payment of wages
  • Serious crimes in military zones
  • Severe economic (inflation) crisis in Lebanon and Syria. Inflation and high costs will lead to an increase of crime
  • Improper/violent enforcement of Covid-19 measures.

The major risk I envisage is that there will be higher imbalance between the justice demands of the society and the ability of justice institutions to respond to such demand.

SMEs will likely encounter more legal problems as well

Bankruptcies, debt disputes, disputes with employees and disputes with suppliers are expected. 

There is already a body of knowledge about the distribution of legal problems. From the HiiL dataset of justice needs from about 20 countries we know that of the most serious legal problems:

  • 10% are employment disputes
  • 9% are family disputes
  • 7% are debt disputes and
  • 3% are domestic violence.

We also know that around 53% of the 5.5 billion adult people in this world report one or more legal problems every 4 years.

From here we see that roughly there are around 1 billion serious legal problems each year. The justice leaders said that employment, family, debt and domestic violence problems will increase significantly. We will use anticipation in two scenarios – increase of problems with 10% and 25%. The table below predicts the additional global demand for justice caused by the pandemic. Note that the figures are based on several assumptions and should be considered with care.
Problem
Scenario 1:
10% increase per 1 million
Scenario 2:
25% increase per 1 million
Employment
1,747
4,367
Family
1,518
3,794
Debt
1,322
3,306
Domestic Violence
458
1,145

Impact on individuals and societies is substantial; eruptions of violence possible

Covid-19 related problems will cause loss of jobs and income; in countries with a large informal job market or weak employment protection legislation, this has already happened.
Closures of businesses, stress-related illness, and damage to family relationships are already impacting people’s lives as well.

In the MENA region and in Sub-Saharan Africa more than 60% of respondents expect violence as a consequence of the new wave of justice problems.

Expected outcomes: A widening justice gap

I am concerned that the administration of justice is not proactive enough to deal adequately with swift changes. The courts have been behind for 8 weeks. Compare that to the fast switch in education to online teaching

  • Respondents are not optimistic about how this surge of additional justice problems will be resolved
  • 70% expect problems to escalate more often
  • Problems are expected to be resolved more often between the parties
  • Solutions are expected to be less fair and achieved less quickly. A large increase in the number of disputes, together with Covid-19-induced inefficiencies, will result in significant additional delays, particularly among low and middle income countries. In sum, the justice gap will widen.

A number of thought leaders reacted emotionally or expressed strong concern:

Catastrophe.
...
Increased court dockets act as access to justice barriers.
...
[Delivery of justice] depends on who is on the other side.
...
Courts not accommodating urgent cases (i.e. illegal evictions; domestic violence).

Views on remedies needed

More informal and early intervention is expected to help

  • Justice leaders see preventive measures and informal interventions including legal information and advice, assisted negotiation, and mediation as most effective for helping people prevent and resolve the current wave of legal problems.
  • The majority of justice leaders across income levels felt that supply of these interventions should be increased.
    More formal interventions typically offered by the courts (“sanctions”) were broadly believed to be slightly less effective in the COVID-19 climate.
  • This may be due in part to the fact that many formal justice institutions that would normally be responsible for adjudication and sanctioning are closed or operating at very limited capacity.

A detailed pattern of interventions is believed to deliver peace and justice

When we asked about interventions in detail, we see considerable doubt among justice leaders across regions and income levels about the need for punitive interventions at this time.

More constructive and informal interventions such as respecting, shaping solutions, and restoring were seen as more important for addressing people’s present problems. Two thirds of those surveyed also placed a high value on monitoring outcomes (“improving”). This suggests that in a time of significant uncertainty and change, ensuring the quality and sustainability of interventions that prevent and resolve is a top priority for many leaders in the justice sector.

Views on service delivery models

[I expect] to learn what works/doesn't work in terms of online collaboration and developing new and improved (informal & digital) procedures.

Community justice courts or services will be in high demand

  • Fast court procedures and legal services by lawyers continue to be valued.
  • But there is even more interest in prioritising community justice and other less conventional service delivery models such as legal apps, online one-stop-shops and community policing.
  • This may be because the local and/or online features of these models make them accessible to greater numbers of people during a time of lockdowns and social distancing.
  • The lack of support for zero-tolerance policies may be linked to increasingly overcrowded prisons, which have proven to be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Lean away from the formal system and increase reliance on community-led justice strategies.

  • Justice leaders from low income countries see apps that prevent violence and fraud as a top priority, while their higher income counterparts consider them relatively unimportant.
  • This may be because protecting people from violence is of greater concern in low income countries.
  • Support for fast courts with adversarial procedures increases with income level. In lower level income countries video-conferencing is not expected to work, and courts may be less accessible anyhow.

Views on system change needed

Views on system change needed

In a recent report, the Task Force on Justice recommended a set of priorities for justice leaders to respond to Covid-19 related challenges.
We asked thought leaders to choose from these priorities.
The resulting ranking varies by region, income level and country but we see that the key elements are:

  • Protecting the justice workforce
  • Increasing innovation and smart working
  • Enforcing emergency measures fairly

[The priority is to] create new procedures that play a more positive role in resolving legal problems.” “Innovative justice delivery through out-of-the-box thinking.” "The challenge is to create a system that balances good service with protection. It means rethinking spaces, procedures and ways of working.

Thought leaders worldwide identify the need to increase innovation and smart working, as the most important strategy to deal with challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in the justice sector.

The challenge is how to adapt, how do we give people what they need in an economy like ours. This leads to the opportunity to finally move legal practice into the digital age, but how do we balance this with the truth that most of our population in the rural areas don't have smart phones and computers. Many are elderly and bent over walking sticks trying to fight for their right to a piece of land they desperately know to be theirs. Maybe by implementing technology where possible it will allow for less backlog of cases so that nobody has to go through this at such an age.

In lower income countries, where law and order institutions are assumed to be weaker, the justice leaders identify the need to protect people from violence as an equally important priority.

In Latin America, where income inequality is among the highest in the world, justice leaders identify the need to enforce emergency measures fairly, as the top priority.

In Europe, where safety concerns are lower than in other regions, and justice services are more equally accessible across segments of the population, the needs to protect the justice workforce, and to prepare for future disease containment phases, are signaled as relatively more important than in other parts of the world.

Other priorities mentioned include:

  • Easily accessible information online
  • Accessible procedures for Covid-19 specific problems
    Access to more affordable or free legal services
  • Prevention of problems through preventive rules and ADR
  • Focus on vulnerable groups such as women, youth, disabled people, poor and sex workers
    Promotion of social cohesion.

The Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions are a challenge but also an opportunity. It is time when:

The value of justice and the justice system can be demonstrated.

Support the justice workers by way of motivation and necessary tools to be able to support people to get justice.

Technologies such as video-conferencing, e-filing, digital identity etc. can be accepted faster. However, this can lead to divides between digitally literate and not literate people.

Thought leaders recommend flexible regulation of procedures to enable innovation

  • In low and lower-middle income countries, thought leaders consider a legal framework that allows for technological and procedural adaptation in the courts a top priority for enabling the justice system to adapt to the Covid-19 crisis.
  • There is also significant interest in developing and implementing innovative justice delivery models and services.
  • Without courts to deliver justice as usual, new ways of meeting people’s justice needs at scale are recognised as sorely needed.

Financial models and structural reforms are also mentioned as priorities

In higher income countries, new and more sustainable financial models are a priority. There is less sense of urgency around more ambitious and structural reforms, such as rethinking roles and responsibilities between justice sector organisations and public/private cooperation in relation to investment. Thought leaders across income levels seem to consider practical adaptations of the justice system more important than creative realignments of relationships and responsibilities in the sector at this time.

Views on capabilities of justice leaders to cope with challenges

Satisfaction with response until now is not high

31% of the thought leaders are (very) satisfied with the justice sector’s response to the crisis.. 45% are (very) dissatisfied, and a quarter are neither satisfied or dissatisfied. In the Latin American region justice leaders’ perception of the system’s response to this crisis is slightly better than in other regions (close to half are satisfied and a third dissatisfied).

Justice leaders may need to invest in skills, relationships and coordination processes

Finally, we also asked whether the justice leaders in your country have the necessary skills, relationships and coordination processes to respond effectively to the Covid-19 crisis.

13% strongly disagrees that they do and a further 36% disagrees.

Almost a quarter of respondents remain undecided about the capacity of their leaders.

It may be that the COVID-19 crisis has not been going on long enough for experts to make an assessment of the performance and capacity of their justice leaders.

Political leadership [is needed] to adapt existing institutions and processes to needs of people who want to resolve disputes quickly and effectively

Summary of findings and implications

Based on these opinions of thought leaders, the justice gap is expected to increase.

The impact of justice problems will be considerable, with large scale violence being a substantial risk in a number of countries.

Courts, police and other justice services will have to adapt their services, focusing on interventions that are most likely to resolve or prevent an additional wave of justice problems.

Just rendering decisions and imposing sanctions is unlikely to work.

The situation asks for a richer and more accessible portfolio of interventions, delivered locally, online or in communities.

Developing innovative service delivery models is seen as the main way forward.
In light of the sheer size of the challenges ahead, it is not surprising that justice leaders are thought to benefit from new skills, relationships and coordination processes.

[printfriendly]