This publication is a result of a comprehensive study of over 23 access to justice assessments (led by UNDP as well as some external assessment) conducted between 2000 and 2010 in 15 countries, namely Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Republic of Vanuatu and Vietnam. The study provides case studies and analyses of the approaches, strategies, methodologies and tools used in various assessments. Its ultimate purpose is to assist practitioners in conducting and improving their access to justice assessments in the region and elsewhere.
This report has three parts. Part One (Chapters 1, 2 and 3) discusses the concept of ‘access to justice’, the basics of access to justice assessments, as well as application of a human rights-based approach to access to justice assessments. It lays out why and how assess to justice assessments can serve a means of understanding and identifying people’s justice needs, their barriers of accessing justice, as well as their capacity gaps and structural problems, encompassing legal, as well as social, economic, political and cultural challenges.
Part Two (Chapter 4) reviews key considerations for conducting effective Access to Justice Assessments. It contends that each access to justice assessment is unique and context specific and thus a uniform approach and methodology for conducting a successful access to justice assessment is neither possible nor necessary. At the same time, it notes how a decade’s worth of access to justice assessments does provide some general considerations to ensure effectiveness, efficiency, credibility and acceptance.
Part Three (Chapters 5 and 6) includes an analysis of various access to justice assessments (including their conceptual approaches, objectives, methodologies, and assessment results), and provides suggestions for tools that may be useful in conducting access to justice assessments with examples.
The publication also contains extensive appendixes including various examples of assessment tools (e.g. questionnaires) employed in different countries to capture the reality of varying situations, contexts, and people.
The ultimate purpose of this guide is to assist practitioners in conducting and improving their access to justice assessments in the region and elsewhere.