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High-Level Dialogue on Customary and Informal Justice and SDG16+

Time (GMT +00) 13:00 14:30
Image license:CC & Image Credit: IDLO
This event has finished, watch or listen to the playback below.


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+


  • Sara Pantuliano

    Chair - Chief Executive, ODI

  • Atieno Odhiambo

    Panellist - Director, Legal Empowerment Fund, The Global Fund for Human Rights

  • Jamesina Essie King

    Panellist - Sierra Leone Court of Appeal Judge, ICJ Commissioner

  • Jan Beagle

    Panellist - Director-General, IDLO

  • Juan Carlos Botero

    Panellist - Associate Professor, Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

  • Manuel Cárceres da Costa

    Panellist - Minister of Justice, Timor-Leste

  • Marriet Schuurman

    Panellist - Director, Stabilization and Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands

  • Sara Hossain

    Panellist - Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Honorary Executive Director, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust

  • Vicky Tauli-Corpuz

    Panellist - Executive Director, Tebtebba Foundation, former UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

  • Zamira Mamakeeva

    Panellist - Chairwoman, Association of Aksakal Courts