Over 80% of disputes and grievances in fragile states are addressed by customary and informal justice (CIJ) systems, which are alternative, community based, indigenous, or religious systems accepted by justice seekers as having the legitimacy to dispense justice and resolve disputes. These systems are often cheaper and more accessible, but reflect unequal power dynamics, with adverse effects for women, people in poverty and marginalised groups. While CIJ systems coexist and intersect with formal or statutory law in almost every country, the global justice community remains predominantly focused on formal justice.
In order to tackle the global justice gap and fulfil the promise of SDG16+ by 2030, through a people-centred approach to supporting equitable social contracts, the global justice community needs to engage effectively with customary and informal justice. In response, over 60 justice stakeholders across the world established the Working Group on CIJ and SDG16+ in 2020.
The High-Level Dialogue will serve as a public debut for the Working Group of Customary and Informal Justice and SDG16+, providing a platform to share its aims and mission statement. During the event, senior policymakers, thought leaders and experts from the national and global levels will engage in a dynamic dialogue on customary and informal justice (CIJ) to build momentum toward sustained, rights-based engagement with CIJ actors and contribute towards access to justice for all. The keynote address at the High Level Dialogue was delivered by the Minister of Justice from Timor-Leste, Manuel Cárceres da Costa. Due to connectivity issues, text and video of the Minister’s address are provided separately below.
The High Level Dialogue is taking place in the context of the Global Justice Week For Justice .
To find out more about the Working Group, please visit this page.
Speech MJ High Dialogue on CIJ and SDG16+Download file
Chair - Chief Executive, ODI
Panellist - Director, Legal Empowerment Fund, The Global Fund for Human Rights
Jamesina Essie King
Panellist - Sierra Leone Court of Appeal Judge, ICJ Commissioner
Panellist - Director-General, IDLO
Juan Carlos Botero@JuanCarBotero
Panellist - Associate Professor, Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Manuel Cárceres da Costa
Panellist - Minister of Justice, Timor-Leste
Panellist - Director, Stabilization and Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands
Panellist - Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Honorary Executive Director, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust
Panellist - Executive Director, Tebtebba Foundation, former UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples
Panellist - Chairwoman, Association of Aksakal Courts