Justice For All Coalition Calls

The Global Legal Empowerment Network campaign team hosted a monthly Justice For All coalition call to connect with other individuals and organizations campaigning to advance funding and protection for grassroots justice defenders in their community. These calls took place on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 10 AM ET.

During these regular monthly meetings, colleagues discussed what’s coming up at the global level, shared examples of how you can get more involved, gave updates on what’s happening at the national level, and asked questions directly to the campaign team and other grassroots campaigners.

These calls were recorded so that those who were not able to join live could still learn from each other and join the conversation. Join the discussion here.

Website: www.justiceforall2030.org | Twitter: @Justice_2030 #JusticeForAll | Facebook: @JusticeForAll2030

The last call took place Tuesday, March 10th at 10 am ET / 3 pm GMT.


March 2020 Coalition Call Recording

Listen to a recording of the call online.

Please refer to the comments in this post to find the notes for the March coalition call.

February 2020 Coalition Call Recording and Notes

Listen to a recording of the call online.

Global Campaign Updates:

  • The Innovating Justice Forum (February 2019, The Hague, HiiL) (@eleanorthompson, @sarahlong)
    • Key takeaways
      • People-centred justice.
      • Each partner brings on their unique skills and perspective.
      • Emphasis: governments are and should remain the primary investors in justice and justice innovation more specifically. But other actors like the private sector also have a role to play.
      • It’s important to make sure that we are looking beyond just tech solutions. That they are appropriate and adapted to ensure the greatest outcome, that there is a great deal of efficiency in designing different solutions to justice problems and to address justice needs.
      • The need to have better justice outcome measures, and measure outcomes for people.
      • Focus on partnerships and coalitions
    • ODI has been commissioned by a couple of philanthropic donors to source ideas and make suggestions for what a multi-donor fund would look like if they were going to put it together. There is going to be a focus group (early March). If any one has any strong ideas that they think should be represented in this group please reach out to us.
  • End Violence Against Women Conference (Paris, France): Big discussion on Justice For All and women - these discussions are going to feed into the upcoming CSW.
  • Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) upcoming in March (@staceycram)
    • Big focus on the next platform of action and looking at critical areas of concern
    • IDLO and the Elders event to focus on the Justice For All report and looking at how the outcomes of the report can be the solutions to the critical areas of concern outlined in the new beijing platform for action
    • The outcome document should be a useful hook for people. We are going to look towards a debrief of this document after CSW and how we can use it in our global and local advocacy.
    • Social Media campaign in March - #JusticeForAll: will focus on organizations who are delivering at the national level, spotlight great organizations advancing gender justice or working with women who are under threat, and share great resources.
  • New publications

Regional Campaign Updates:

  • Asia (@marlonmanuel)
    • Localization of conversations and processes around SDG 16: learning activities focusing on the relevance of sdg conversations at the global legal as they relate to the work of legal empowerment organizations at the grassroots level. Goal: have a common educational material of SDG 16 on legal empowerment.
    • 18-21 February 2020 (Bandung, Indonesia): Workshop convened by the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation to talk about the role of lawyers in the protection HRDs and the constricted space for HRDs in general.
    • 21-29 September 2020 (Philippines): Asia Pro Bono Conference & Access to Justice Exchange
  • Africa (@AimeeOngeso)
    • West Africa:
      • 4th Intercity Community Paralegal Summit: targets over 100 paralegals working in Nigeria and Benin. This summit is primarily a horizontal learning exchange for paralegals and provides a platform to share successes and strategize on how to overcome common challenges.
      • Inaugural West Africa Regional Paralegal Summit: seeks to significantly broaden the conversation to look at legal empowerment from a regional perspective, linking the work of community paralegals to the ECOWAS agenda for justice. During these sessions we will – for the first time – discuss ways to create a regional network of legal empowerment practitioners for regular communication and coordination across West Africa to better support each other’s work and defining collective advocacy goals.
    • East and Horn of Africa Paralegal Forum: Implementation of 2 year work plan underway
    • Kenya: OGP process- Efforts are underway to mobilise other thematic sector actors, including justice sector actors to actively participate in consultations and in the co creation process to ensure that new perspectives can be included in the 4th National Action Plan for Kenya.
  • Latin America (@martaalmela)
    • Champions of Escazú initiative: The Access Initiative and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) are searching for leaders and young people from the LAC region to highlight the importance of the Escazú Agreement and support its ratification. The deadline to join this initiative known as Champions of Escazú is February 14.
    • Regional agreement on Access to justice: this year Network members in the region will work around an ambitious idea: to build the foundations for a regional agreement on access to justice and legal empowerment.

Ways to Get Involved This Month:

  • Let us know what we should do together in 2020 and beyond - Take the Global Legal Empowerment Network’s annual survey before it closes.
  • Social Media campaign in March - #JusticeForAll: share this questionnaire with strong organizations working on legal empowerment and gender justice so that we can spotlight their work during March!
December 2019 Coalition Call Recording

Listen to a recording of the call online.

November 2019 Coalition Call Recording

Listen to a recording of the call online.

October 2019 Coalition Call Notes

Listen to a recording of the call online Global Updates

2019: SDG Summit

At the UN General Assembly this September, states gathered for the SDG Summit, to report on their progress towards delivering the 2030 agenda. The UN Secretary General issued a call to states and other actors to commit to Accelerate Actions on the SDGs. Take aways from the SDG Summit:

  • There was a collective understanding that overwhelmingly we are still not meeting the goal of the SDG. Goal 16 one of the goals where more progress was yet to be seen. To advance the 16+ agenda, a multi stakeholder approach is required
  • We saw a surge in Accelerated Actions on Justice For All. In total, there were 57 Acceleration Actions SDG 16 on the Registry , 23 of these are access to justice-related. A number of these Actions were launched at Side Events hosted by coalition partners, you can hear more from Shazia Razzaque of the Pathfinders and Maha Jweied of NLADA on the recording about these events and the commitments made. A few highlights can be seen below - click on the links for a full description of the Accelerated Action.
  • Going forward there will be a group established to drive forward the commitments made and to encourage more action at the national level.

OGP Research report

  • OGP is prioritizing justice as it announced through it’s Accelerated Action Commitment at UNGA.In the next couple of years, it will focus on country level engagements to nurture commitments aligned with SDGs
  • To support these efforts they have published a new report: Justice Policy Series, Part 1: Access to Justice (the first of a three part series)
    • This paper examines where the gaps are within 60 OGP countries, using the dataset found in the World Justice Project’s Global Insights on Access to Justice 2019. Based on these findings, we offer suggestions on how countries can use their OGP action plans to improve access to justice and highlight ambitious or successful existing commitments.
    • You can download the report here.

Global Indicator

  • @sarahlong updated that the World Justice Project worked with OECD and UNDP and OSJI to submit a new civil justice indicator to the Inter-Agency Expert Group on the SDGs. She outlined the key reasons why member states should move forward with a civil justice indicator
    • Member states agreed in 2016 that a cvil justice indicator is needed
      • Current Proposal is simple and requires only 4 questions and could be added to ongoing national surveys
      • There is not another methodology that currently exists to collect this data
      • A huge body of resources exist that provides guidance to NSOs on how to collect this data (Legal Need Surveys) (OSJI, WJP etc)
      • You can read more on this indicator and why it is necessary here

** People’s Climate Summit **

  • @abigailmoy gave an update on the People’s Climate Summit. There were over 200 representatives from academia, indigenous people and CSOs that came together Issued a declaration on humanity’s survival.
    • Access to justice one of the points (statement) and it pertains to how there is a need to people to support communities to know, use and shape the law
  • There is a lot of overlap in JFA campaign within the climate space on the issues of financing and protection and there appears to be an opportunity to build on these synergies curve

Regional Updates


  • @MarlonManuel gave an update on the Asia Pro Bono Conference and Asia launch of the Justice For All Report
    • 8th annual APBC held Sep 13 to 15 in Nepal. Conference theme was Justice For All. All previous conferences held in South East Asia. First time conference was organized by a South Asia organizing team.
    • Addition of legal empowerment and access to justice exchange into the main conference agenda - key issues addressed included: Drug policy reform; Citizenship; Environmental justice
    • 700 participants from 30 countries attended, made up of lawyers, donors, government representatives and civil society
    • Hina Jilani of the Elders (co chair of task force on justice) led the presentation of the Justice Report
    • APBC a venue for sharing very good programs happening on Asia on accelerating the justice goal primarily from civil society. Suggestion to hold regional convening for paralegals next year. Next year’s conference to be held in the Philippines, hoping to be more participants

Latin America

  • @MartaAlmela 4-8 November (Buenos Aires): International Conference “Law and Communities”. 5-day conference, the first 2 days will focus on legal empowerment and community lawyering practices, the next 2 days will focus on the use(s) of law in urban segregated areas, and the last day we will have some cultural activities at some of the villas of BA.
  • During the Conference we will launch the publication “Legal empowerment and community lawyering in Latin America: community access to justice experiences” (in Spanish), which brings together analysis pieces of the situation of access to justice in the region, together with case studies of specific legal empowerment experiences. These were developed by Network members from all over the region and include a variety of thematic agendas: habitat and right to the city, right to health, environmental justice, migrant population’s rights, and gender and diversity. It is meant to be a first step in the region, to bring the concept and methodologies of legal empowerment to broader spheres and contexts, generate joint learnings and continue advocating for access to justice for all.


  • The National Paralegal Summit, Abuja is ongoing. This is a joint effort of network member, Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative and the Nigeria Legal Aid Council. The summit focuses on highlighting the work of paralegals and identifying ways in which their work can be sustained. @AimeeOngeso will be sharing lessons learned from the Kenyan experience.
  • Regional work : as a follow up to the East and Horn of Africa Paralegal Forum that was held in July 2019 in Nairobi, the CSO convener for the EAPF , Legal Service Facility that is based in Tanzania will hold a meeting with the Nairobi based Paralegal Support Network as a preparatory step to regional work in the East and Horn of Africa. The EAPF seeks to have a common regional agenda for paralegals.
September 2019 Coalition Call Recording

Listen to a recording of the call online.

August 2019 Coalition Call Recording

Listen to a recording of the call online.

July 2019 Coalition Call Recording

Listen to a recording of the call online.

June 2019 Coalition Call Notes

June 2019 Coalition Call Notes Global Updates

Listen to a recording of the call online

The coalition call started with updates on activities and events that took place within the past month related to the campaign

Rome Conference Debrief

SDG 16 plus expert group meeting convened by UNGASA, IDLO and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Joel Martinez from the World Justice Project noted that there were good discussions on what the key messaging going into July and September should be

One highlight was the panel that both @cocolammers and Joel were part of on the role of non official data in monitoring and holding governments accountable to goal 16 and ensuing discussions about there being only two official indicators for goal 16.3 that focus on criminal justice and the best ways to collect civil justice legal needs data and how it would be done within the framework of the SDGs

He mentioned that the World Justice Project is looking to release data collected on civil justice needs to show an example of how the indicators could be done focussing on global insights on access to justice from a civil justice perspective

Relaunching the Desa commitments of Goal 16 with the WJP having collected commitments from civil society and the private sector towards demonstrating commitment and diversity of actors playing a role in promoting access to justice for all The conference demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment of community for goal 16

@cocolammers Civil Society Day Rome Declaration

The Rome conference convened towards planning on how to make the most of the HLPF and was meant to be a smaller convening of experts across government, civil society and other actors on how to amplify messaging, collective action in the lead up to the HLPF and how to make the most of that space but later opened up to additional civil society based on the level of interest

The TAP Network tried to think of how to make the most of this on the day before

60 participants engaged for full day civil society workshop; Civil society declaration on SDG 16+ which was officially launched and announced during the plenary sessions in the conference. This speaks to progress being made Outcomes: approve a civil society declaration, Rome declaration on SDG 16 plus

There was a drafting group that took input over weeks in the lead up to civil society day on the types of issues and priority areas that CSOs working on goal 16 would like to prioritize and finalized that declaration which was officially launched and announced during one of the plenary sessions at the Rome conference.

The declaration is a broad call to action on making progress in goal 16 plus issues acknowledging the excitement that goal 16 making it into the SDG but so much needs to happen towards making progress and we are behind and then highlight a number of recommendations and ways that government can accelerate action as well as UN agencies, civil society, and the private sector can take urgent action and immediate steps towards making progress on this goal (leaving no one behind, ensuring inclusive approaches, capacity building, multi sectoral partnerships)

A number of the themes that the campaign, coalition and community has been working on were really championed and included in the declaration

  • Scaled up financing that target grassroots groups
  • The role of data and importance in including third party data, non official data
  • Updated indicator on goal 16.3 to include civil justice
  • How to promote legal empowerment efforts in scaling up justice for communities.
  • Recognizing, accepting and funding for these group
  • The need to protect justice defenders who are working to accelerate progress, combating the shrinking civic space
  • Call to action for Civil society commitments to taking forward the issues

The declaration is open to sign on with over 60 organizations already signed (link to be shared)

@cocolammers underscored that there was a lot of interest, excitement acknowledgment and momentum from member states. and that it was time for civil society to act and accelerate progress by pushing for commitments and make the most for HLPF and general assembly in September.

@marlonmanuel Update: The OGP summit in Ottawa by Canada as co-chair was held from May 29th to 31st

There were activities around justice prior to the main conference: On the 28th government point of contact day, that saw delegates from governments as part of the session on their commitments on how justice can be included in their countries next National Action Plan with other governments learning from those who had drafted already

Another event in the headquarters of the Department of Justice (Open doors at Justice Canada) in Ottawa that spurred discussions in different initiatives including:

  • Auditor on taskforce on justice report
  • How legal empowerment as a major force in pushing justice and sharing paralegals experiences as grassroots justice advocates and pushing the agenda for opening justice
  • Grassroots Justice Defenders as a strategy for opening justice
  • Emphasis on the need to enhance the capacity of grassroots justice defenders as part of the open government

There were also three sessions related to justice

  • High-level panel on opening justice on May 30
  • Plenary with Mary Robinson presenting on putting inclusion at the center of OGP
  • 31st May Session on the year of justice using the OGP as an opportunity to advance grassroots justice efforts in fostering government accountability and use of other coming convenings and link OGP and NAP processes in the review of goal 16

Group convened for the Canadian launch on the task force report of justice with Mary Robinson and Minister Garavano sent a video message to the audience

@marlonmanuel noted that the OGP summit is a good venue to show the importance for OGP as a platform for justice and to challenge participants towards engaging governments to work for inclusion in OGP and access to justice while also linking OGP to other avenues like the SDG review later this year. OGP is a strategic venue to advance justice.

@staceycram then talked briefly about some forward-looking action:

  • There shall be Coalition of the willing within OGP made up of government and civil society who will drive forward access to justice and a plan, scope, and reference for that group
  • She challenged members of the coalition and campaign to see when countries National Action Plans are being reviewed
  • Look at resources towards developing a good access to justice
  • Working with OGP sec towards looking at moments to highlight e.g. July HLPF and General Assembly and also leverage moments in national contexts
  • Existing mechanism to engage governments including reporting on the VNR

Civil Justice Indicator Update by @sarahlong

The World Justice Project is currently working with OECD, UNDP, and OSJI on the civil justice indicator which focuses on civil justice problems. The deadline is Friday 14th June and thus getting feedback from stakeholders,

She then gave a brief background on the indicator and the process involved in registering it and having it adopted:

The Indicator is experience based and comparable across countries

  • The Submission deadline is Friday 14th
  • Summer to Sept: IEG shall be engaging in a process to adopt or move forward indicators
  • IEG finalize proposals in November
  • Official decision made in March 2020

The World Justice Initiative has been Running a legal means survey modules in more than 100 countries, 45 published and the rest available by the HLPF. available at the website by end of June

How the IEG considers the inclusion of an indicator (the process) UN Stats process: IAEG-SDGs — SDG Indicators

The civil justice indicator challenges the process to Focus on more than just criminal justice.

Dialogue on the process to continue and sharing opportunities for national engagement

Latin America Update @lucianabercovich

The Campaign is currently working with two countries in the VNR process this year Guatemala is working on a shadow report, shall have a first draft in July 2019 and there is a plan to have meetings with CSOs and government

Chile: Fima is leading the process on SDG 16

This is all leading up to HLPF in July, the official side event has just been announced Pathfinders justice taskforce have put up a guide that will be shared

HLPF Planning

  • First-time goal 16 is being reviewed
  • 50 countries shall be presenting VNRs on their status of SDG implementation
  • Network members are engaging in the process and Latin America has been quite active VNRs @lorenzowakefield gave an update on events including
  • The SDG 16+ Storytelling mentioning that it was not too late to submit videos as there was still an opportunity for civil society to showcase their video on how they are advancing this agenda. There have been over 200 video submissions with finalists getting an opportunity to come to New York, There is still opportunity to share video that will be showcased
  • ECOSOC Reviewing progress on Goal 16, status updates (invitation only)
  • A number of justice related events in the works (Monday July 15th HL justice event convened by the Dutch govt, pathfinders and shall feature the GJP
  • High-Level ministerial convening by the elders
  • High-level event on the Escazu agreement (still waiting for information and confirmation more details to be shared in next call)

The members of the coalition were then challenged to continue to sustain action including through:

  • Social media engagement on Justice for All campaign
  • Following up with the National Action Plans available in the website (ideas on how to leverage in their national contexts)
  • Downloading resources for concrete tips including how to respond to the report

@marlonmanuel spoke to us about the Regional Leadership Course in Chisinau, Moldova

Legal Empowerment Leadership Course for the region. The four countries present were Moldova Ukraine, Albania, and Kirghistan. This course was similar to the course Namati holds on an annual basis at CEU, but on a regional level. During the course, there was a discussion of the work of paralegals in their respective communities, as well as laws and policies recognizing their work as grassroots justice defenders. The course featured an exchange of experiences from the four-country groups and ending with work planning at the country level. We hope to hear from them on their progress on the work plans!

Guatemala Learning Exchange update @Ferjep spoke to us about the course so far. The activities have been very interesting- diff organizations from the region meeting together to discuss a systemic change. So far only the first day just met and learned about the work of the other organizations.

HLPF Planning- a big year for access to justice community. What happens next? Celebrate Goal 16, what has happened to date and what has not yet happened. SDG summit coming up- 2 moments this year to build on each other.

Upcoming Events @staceycram

HLPF Video Streaming

  • High-Level Justice Event - Official launch of the JFA report by the task force on justice. The winners of the Grassroots Justice Prize will be present and two of The Elders, Hina Jilani and Mary Robinson will be presenting the award.
  • Elders Dinner - Targeted countries on the precipice of doing something good related to Justice For All.
  • Escazu Agreement event - 1st binding human rights agreement at regional level. Protections for environment and environmental justice defenders. Signed by 16 countries- 2 ratified. Want to build momentum for ratifying. Monday july 15th, member states from region to talk about progress. One member from network (Gabriela) about campaign involvement. No livestream but can attend w UN pass
  • Legal Empowerment Advances SDGs - Partnership w NYU Bernstein center for HR. role of LE in advancing the SDGs. number of GJP winners in town! Convo w practitioners w regional/natl/global perspectives. Speakers from pathfinders, open govt partnerships, FIMA (Chile),
  • SDG16+ Storytelling Event - Grassroots voices being brought to forefront on implementing the initiatives. Over 200 videos submitted and 12 finalists are coming to NY to share experiences. Reel of videos will be featured inside the UN.
  • ECOSOC Review of SDG 16 - The UN officially reviews progress of SDG 16. The president of ECOSOC will prepare a report and we are hoping Access to Justice will be a theme.
  • The use of non-official data in SDG 16 reporting was the subject of an event yesterday in the UN. Current indicator for target 16.3 includes criminal justice, which is an important indicator but not enough to accurately measure access to justice. There is a proposal for a new civil justice indicator to be launched- providing a robust way to capture justice issues. Over the next few months we hope this indicator will be approved and included alongside criminal justice.
  • Festival Guide-

"Missing" Access to Justice Campaign @mckinleycharles

We are asking for people to submit ideas for commitments and accelerated actions that could help to crack the case of the missing Justice! At the High Level event on Monday where the Justice For All report is relaunched, we will be putting up “missing persons” signs and a “tips board” for people to pin their contribution and ideas too. This will be replicated on the JFA website, and we are looking for idea submissions!

Our next monthly coalition call will take place on Tuesday - 9 July, 2019:

May 2019 Coalition Call Notes

May 2019 Coalition Call Notes Global Campaign Updates

Listen to a recording of the call online!

World Justice Forum Debrief

Joel Martinez gave a brief overview of the World Justice forum- which is organized around justice for all. 550 people came from over 70 countries around the world to share insight, talk about their work, network and build the movement. 30 organizations present are working on effective access to justice solutions, and they displayed presentations in the work space. A panel of judges and forum participants voted to select their top 5 projects, from 5 different countries. In closing plenary, commitments to closing the justice gap were highlighted as well.

@eleanorthompson discussed how the forum served as a platform for rich exchange between different actors approaching justice from different angles, using a variety of tools. It allowed for national level practitioners who are looking to strengthen bonds within transnational networks to convene and achieve their objectives. She described how organizations were grouped according to the approach each was taking, which offered another way to view their work rather than in isolation. This was helpful and unique.

@cocolammers talked about the paralegal recognition session, where country examples on how civil society can ensure paralegal recognition in different contexts, and different frameworks. The Global Legal Empowerment Network also launched a series of community paralegal recognition briefs, found in the Network resource library.

How Countries Recognize and Finance Community Paralegals

Latin America Update

@SebastianPilo discussed how OGP can incorporate access to justice into their agenda. He discussed how Argentina can workto create something like a task force about justice in the frame of OGP. Since this year the Argentina assumes the presidency, it is an opportunity to create the frame to discuss between key actors globally about how to push the agenda.

@lucianabercovich noted that organizations are campaigning to have the Escazú agreement campaign, program innovations in the HLPF, as an official event at the UN. On July 2nd, the Global Legal Empowerment Network will be having a webinar in English about Escazú. There is hope to push the Escazú agreement to have similar agreement on access to justice and environmental issues in other countries. The Global Legal Empowerment Network is also hosting a learning exchange with organizations from Central America in Guatemala.

OGP Summit

@staceycram There is an OGP summit in Ottawa, strong focus on the theme of access to justice, similar to last summit in Tblisi. Therehas been very little movement from that working group, and this year we are looking to establish commitment and focus to strengthen the commitment of that group, as well as set terms of reference. You can view the agenda of the summit online, or read more about the summit’s goals. All of the feedback from sessions will be open, and some sessions will be recorded. Other sessions will have notes, and all information will be displayed on the forum.

Rome Conference

@cocolammers discussed the conference to be held in Rome, convened by UN and member states. It has been challenging to get civil society included in a robust way. Through the TAP network, they are calling for inclusion, specifically for representation from grassroots organizations and the global south. In the event they are not included, there will be live streaming of sessions. During the conference in Rome, there will be a working session to have a civil society declaration, calling out specific recommendations for what civil society recommends. This declaration from civil society will be presented during the plenary sessions of the official conference and included into the official session. If you want to feed into the declaration before official drafting concludes please fill out this form. You can share your key messages for the 2019 Pre-HLPF SDG16 Conference, to be considered for inclusion in the “Rome Civil Society Declaration on SDG16+” The deadline for inputs is Wednesday 22 May 2019.

HLPF and VNR Process

@sumaiya_islam discussed the Justice Initiative- where they are looking at a a few countries to engage with and support country review processes. There was an Africa and Asia exchange, supported by the Action Center for Influence, where groups discussed the VNR process. There is also planning to hold a civil society convening on Sunday, July 14 for organizations focusing on justice initiatives in New York during the HLPF.

@febionesta The deadline for inputs from civil society organizations in Indonesia to contribute to the VNR report is May 23, and they are hoping to submit something to the government draft, and correct several of the mistakes related to the legal aid protection and policies in Indonesia. There are oncerns from civil society organizations about the VNR report drafting, especially concerning how civil society’s can still produce shadow reports, and what would be the best channel through which to submit these.

HLPF Storytelling Exercise

@cocolammers sent out a reminder that there is still time to submit stories to be displayed during the HLPF.

March 2019 Coalition Call Notes

Listen to a recording of the call online!

@staceycram Open Gov Week is a good moment to raise awareness about justice issues, especially if your country is involved in the OGP process. We will be using the hashtag #opengov. During this week we are trying to focus on increasing the number and diversity of partners, and using this time to reach out to communities you work with. The Justice for All Campaign is looking at the OpenGov platform as a way to increase financing as well.

The OGP Webinar coming up on Thursday, March 14th at 10 AM EST. This webinar will be a space to learn more about how Access to Justice has increased within the OGP framework, Coalition and the Global Legal Empowerment Network, with colleagues from Indonesia, Moldova and Argentina to talk about their experience.

You can register for the call here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3686691472362751500

South Africa VNR Workshop @lorenzowakefield

Governments are going to be reporting on Sustainable Development Goal 16 in July in New York, and submitting Volunteer National Review reports. We have the opportunity to influence these reports to make sure that Access to Justice is featured in these reports.

The VNR workshop will be held on March 27-29 in South Africa. We are looking at seeing how Civil Society with access to justice can influence or contribute to the VNR reports from countries that are listed to present VNRS this year. The Mott Foundation will be supporting Civil Society Organization’s from selected Asian and African countries in a preparatory workshop to look at engagement on the VNR processes, see how inclusive has the drafting process been, and to agree on messaging that we want to elevate from Civil Society Organizations to the High Level Political Forum.

These countries are: Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa

If you are not able to attend the workshop but would like to be able to replicate the common messaging agreed upon during the workshop, please reach out to @lorenzowakefield, who can provide feedback for anyone who is interested.

World Justice Forum, Joel Martinez

The forum will take place April 29-May 2 in the Hague, Netherlands. The forum seeks to bring together a mix of participants from government, civil society, the private sector and donors to address pressing issues and orchestrate key messaging before the High Level Political Forum. The forum can be used as a platform to showcase the effective solutions being implemented around the world to address the justice gap. There will be a series of high level speakers as well as grassroots speakers to identify successful projects highlighting the justice gap.

You can find more information on the World Justice Project website, with details about the forum and more opportunities to get involved, contribute to working sessions and discuss problems and opportunities.

HLPF Storytelling Exercise @cocolammers

In addition to government commitments during the HLPF, we are excited about the opportunity for Civil Society organizations to show what works, and to demonstrate that they are already committed to this goal of Access to Justice and advancing these issues. We are working with a few other coalitions in the lead up to the HLPF to collect stories and commitments on CSO implementation of SDG16.

Feel free to reach out and share these stories with other members, and to collect and gather stories and commitments which can then be displayed at the event in July itself. These stories will be presented in digital form, through video and audio.

Other Announcements@staceycram

The deadline for the Grassroots Justice Prize has been extended to March 24th. Please apply, and encourage your partners to consider applying as well. This award offers 3 prizes of $10,000, and provides an opportunity to recognize small NGOs who aren’t typically eligible for larger grants.

Applications for a learning exchange in Guatemala are now open! The exchange has a focus on advocacy in the region. This opportunity is for members who speak Spanish and are based in Mexico and Central America. Please share with you colleauges, and apply!

February 2019 Coalition Call Notes

Global Campaign Updates

@staceycram shared a global campaign update on the coming together of three significant moments during the Innovating Justice Forum and Justice Partners Forum that took place in The Hague, The Netherlands in early February. The theme of “Justice For All” was very present across these events and would be the title for the Pathfinders justice for report. During the events, the following exciting things happened:

  1. The first ever book on community paralegals (Community Paralegals in the Pursuit of Justice) was launched during the Innovating Justice Forum The Hague by three authors @vivekmaru, Jenny Franco, and @WardB. Watch the launch event.
  2. The 2019 Grassroots Justice Prize was launched, a biannual prize that celebrates great deeds in legal empowerment. Nominations are still open.
  3. The 3rd meeting of the Justice Task Force took place to finalize plans for an upcoming report on solutions to address the global justice gap.
  4. The Elders launched a new access to justice program, which calls for the support and protection of grassroots justice defenders and promotes legal empowerment as a key justice breakthrough.
  5. Ministers from 21 countries endorsed a The Hague Declaration on Equal Access to Justice, a shared commitment put people at the heart of justice programming through legal empowerment while respecting independence.

Updated Global Justice Gap Figure

  • @sarahlong from the World Justice Project gave an update on the new Measuring the Global Justice Gap report which estimates that there are 5.1 billion people globally with unmet justice needs. The exercise to produce the figure was done in collaboration with Pathfinders Justice Task Force. This updated figure was measured by synthesizing ten official data sources calculating the numbers of people who cannot attain justice for everyday problems; people who are vulnerable and excluded from opportunities the law provides; people who face extreme forms of injustice. The working paper outlines how the figure was arrived at and the data sources synthesized is available online at the world justice project website.

Looking Ahead

  • Voluntary National Review (VNR) process. 51 countries will be reporting on progress on the SDGs during the July High Level Political Forum (HLPF) by presenting VNR reports. This HLPF will be the first time SDG 16 is reviewed by governments. This is an important opportunity to ensure that the VNR reports include grassroots justice and legal empowerment.
    • Action: advocate to your government to ensure that the VNR process consults civil society and call for the inclusion of grassroots justice and legal empowerment. If you are interested in engaging with the VNR process in your country, let the Justice For All team know.
    • Regional meetings
    • Mott Foundation and OSJI are bringing partner from South Africa, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Indonesia and Philippines in Cape Town South Africa working to develop strategies for the promotion of legal empowerment in national VNR processes.
  • Open Government Partnership (OGP). The OGP has taken up access to justice as a key theme. 40+ countries are writing their new open government National Action Plans this year, an opportunity to get justice commitments. Indonesia, through their NAP, agreed to fund civil society mechanisms on legal empowerment. Macedonia included a comprehensive legal empowerment strategy for the justice sector in their NAP. The next OGP Summit is taking place in May 2019 in Ottawa, Canada.
    • Action: Join upcoming Justice For All webinar on OGP and The Year of Justice and hear from country colleagues on utilizing the OGP

One Year of Justice For All

February 20, 2019 marked one year since the Justice For All campaign was launched. A few highlights from the past year:

  • Justice For All campaign launched alongside the Elders and ACIJ with a public walk for justice for all in Buenos Aires Argentina, featured Minister of Justice and the VP of Argentina
  • Justice For All sent representatives to talk about grassroots justice and legal empowerment issues to global spaces and policy fora.
  • A group of 6 ministers of justices committed to starting a justice working group within Open Government Partnership who then took a picture together all wearing Justice For All stickers as a moment of solidarity and presents an opportunity for follow up.
  • A dozen Justice For All events took place around the world during the 10 Weeks of Action to garner petition. signatures. Currently there are 1,000+ signatures. Let’s keep the momentum going.
  • Latin America regional group worked to launch the Escazu Agreement, the world’s first ever binding human rights treaty for the protection of environmental justice defenders. Ratified in September by over 15 countries having needed at least 11 to move forward
  • A few weeks ago, the 3rd Task Force meeting took place, fed into Justice Task Force report, and the Elders launched their new strategy, which specifically includes grassroots justice and legal empowerment
  • Justice For All is a brand, a theme, a uniting message for our community and beyond
    • Action: Sign the petition and spread the word about Justice For All campaign throughout the rest of the year.

Community Updates & Discussions

  • Discussion around whether or not the Global Justice Gap data track the level of investment in access to justice over the past decade? This particular exercise did not track levels of investment but an additional work stream of the Task Force on Justice is focused on the case for investment, something the World Bank is also interested in tracking. ODI and University of Ottawa recently published a report that global aid to justice sector has decreased by 40% in the last 4 years.

  • Opportunities to engage on women’s rights and legal empowerment issues during the Commission on Status of Women (CSW) in March. Landesa to host an event on 25 March and launch new campaign.

  • Columbia Institute on Sustainable Investment conducting research on land grabs and land-based investments. First paper to be launched at World Bank Land and Poverty Conference on 27 March. Plan to turn report into advocacy campaign.

  • Discussion around curriculum development for legal empowerment work in Kenya to be recognized by governments.

August 2018 Coalition Call Notes

August 2018 Coalition Call Notes

Global Campaign Updates:

  • 10 Weeks of Action: This year marks the 10th anniversary of “Making the Law Work for Everyone,” the report that first quantified the legal empowerment gap of four billion people excluded from access to justice. The report was written by The Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (CLEP), established by UNDP as the first global initiative to focus on the link between exclusion, poverty, and the law.

  • 10 Days of Action: At the end of the 10 Weeks of action, to celebrate this landmark moment, the campaign will be launching a 10 Days of Action to 1) spotlight the work of our community over the last decade and 2) highlight the existing gaps around financing and protection for grassroots justice defenders. Coalition members are encouraged to host a national Justice For All event with government and civil society to discuss the need to finance and protect grassroots justice defenders.

  • Readout from the 2018 OGP Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia: Justice For All had a great presence at the Summit, attendees word justice for all stickers, coalition and contingent on how to push for more A2J commitments into the OGP NAPs, how can this be more of a tool for grassroots organizations. New resource produced by OGP and a few different partners on how to get a good commitment on A2J and legal empowerment.

  • Escazu Agreement: In the Latin America region, Amnesty International, The Global Legal Empowerment Network, TAI, and CIVICUS, and Human Rights Watch are working together advance the Escazu Agreement, the first ever binding agreement to help protect environmental justice defenders in the region. The agreement opens for for state signatures on September 27th during UNGA 73, alongside an event to celebrate the opening and some members are organizing activities at national level to advocate before their states. Learn more.

  • UNGA 73: This September marks the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73). Alongside the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, there are three exciting things happening: 1) there will be a high level meeting with governments, civil society and the private sector to push for new commitments on access to justice; 2) a donor convening bringing together the philanthropic community to bring new funding to the sector; and 3) NGC meeting.

Highlights from Coalition Members:

  • Readout from the Justice Task Force: In early July, an OECD roundtable in Latvia, the OGP Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia. It is clear that the network of justice supporters is growing around the world. In October, the SDG+16 Forum Annual Showcase and Task Force on Justice meeting will be taking place in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Network members are welcome to apply to attend the Annual Showcase. Third and final meeting of Justice Task Force will be held in the Hague in early 2019. Plans are underway to organize a consultation of everyone who wants to contribute experiences from their national level to be taken into account by the Task Force on Justice. Read more in @maaikedelangen’s latest article.

Ways to Get Involved This Month:

  • Ten Signature Challenge: Help us reach a goal of 100,000 signatures by signing the Justice For All petition and encouraging ten more justice defenders to sign the petition!

  • Share content from the 10 Weeks of Action! If you are interested in contributing content (e.g. blog posts, articles, images), please reply below and we will be in touch.

  • Host an event during the 10 Days of Action with government and civil society to discuss ways to prioritize financing and protection for grassroots justice defenders in your community. Please contact @cocolammers directly for more information.

  • Stay tuned on ways to get involved in UNGA 73 activities.

July 2018 Coalition Call Notes

Global Campaign Updates:

  • Ten Weeks of Action: This year marks the 10th anniversary of “Making the Law Work for Everyone,” the report that first quantified the legal empowerment gap of four billion people excluded from access to justice. The report was written by The Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (CLEP), established by UNDP as the first global initiative to focus on the link between exclusion, poverty, and the law. To celebrate this landmark moment, the campaign will be launching a 10 Weeks of Action to 1) spotlight the work of our community over the last decade and 2) highlight the existing gaps around financing and protection for grassroots justice defenders. Below are some of the details:

    • The 10 Weeks of Action kicks off during Nelson Mandela’s Centenary Celebrations (July 18) and will culminate around the 10th anniversary of the CLEP (September 25).

    • Each week will spotlight a different theme which impacts access to justice, beginning with the economic case for investment in access to justice.

  • The campaign will be attending and engaging with partner organizations at the 5th Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, (July 17-19) and the High-level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York from (July 9-18). More details on our planned activities can be found below in the June 2018 Coalition Call Notes.

  • July 18, 2018 marks Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday celebration. The campaign has partnered with The Elders to pay special attention to the key issues of peace, health, equality, and justice. To help commemorate Mandela’s legacy, the campaign hosted a local #WalkTogether for #JusticeForAll in Washington, DC. Read about it here.

Highlights from Coalition Members:

  • Violence continues to be an issue, both for grassroots justice defenders as well as local government officials, according to coalition members from Nigeria and the Philippines. We were reminded of the vital importance of the need for increased protection on the ground.

  • In Nigeria, grassroots groups have begun focusing their efforts into a national level campaign.

  • The official recognition of paralegals has been a positive surprise in South Africa, demonstrating a political will to support access to justice for all. The next step is to develop stronger legal mechanisms to hold actors accountable in practice.

  • Encouraging progress in Tanzania, with efforts underway for a landmark government corruption case and the growth of legal hubs around the country that have brought communities, government, and companies together.

Ways to Get Involved This Month:

  • Ten Signature Challenge: Help us reach a goal of 100,000 signatures by signing the Justice For All petition and encouraging ten more justice defenders to sign the petition!

  • Share content from the 10 Weeks of Action! If you are interested in contributing content (e.g. blog posts, articles, images), please reply below and we will be in touch.

  • Host a Walk Together for Justice For All in July. Instructions provided here.

June 2018 Coalition Call Notes

Global Campaign Updates:

  • The 5th Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit will be taking place in Tbilisi, Georgia, on July 17-19, 2018. Register here. The Global Legal Empowerment Network will be calling for increased funding and protection for grassroots justice defenders by securing new justice commitments in revised OGP National Action Plans. In case you missed it, a recent webinar on Access to Justice and the OGP can be accessed here.

  • The High-level Political Forum is taking place from July 9th to 18th at the United Nations in New York. While Sustainable Development Goal 16 will not be reviewed in depth this year, it is scheduled to be highlighted in 2019. We plan to attend and engage with partner organizations to generate momentum for next year’s conversations and reporting. If your country is submitting a Voluntary National Review report this year, it’s not too late to meet with your government contacts to ensure that access to justice is included in its report.

  • Since 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the report by the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (CLEP) and Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday, we have partnered with The Elders to Walk Together for Justice For All. We encourage everyone host their own walks for justice for all in the coming weeks!

Highlights from Coalition Members:

  • The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has called on countries to sign the Escazú Agreement, the first regional environmental treaty within the region and the first with binding provisions on environmental justice defenders. It will open for signatures in September during the UN General Assembly in New York this September.

  • A new government-funded legal education program was recently announced in Mongolia. The government is also working on their OGP National Action Plan, and efforts are underway to include this legal empowerment efforts as an access to justice commitment in it.

  • Progress in Sierra Leone has been slow due to a change in government, but leaders of the new government have made several unofficial commitments to justice.

  • Through a network of regional experts throughout Asia, Taiwanese lawyers and NGOs are receiving training on refugee status determination.

  • Based on feedback from its grantees, Open Society Foundation will be focusing on providing support for grantmakers and grantees around the topics of human-centered design, technology, and innovative financing through the Shared Framework.

Ways to Get Involved This Month:

  • Register to attend the OGP Global Summit.

  • Learn how you can engage the OGP National Action Plan process.

  • Host a Walk Together for Justice For All in July. Instructions provided here.

  • Sign the Declaration of Villa Inflamable for Access to Justice and Legal Empowerment for All.

Do you have any additional updates to share? We encourage all network members interested in connecting on the Justice For All campaign to join our next call and continue the conversation below. Hope to speak to many of you then!


@namati_clp @namati_citizenship @namati_myanmar - we hope you can join us!


It’s not too late to sign up to join the Justice For All monthly coalition calls, beginning tomorrow. We hope to see you there!

Register for free here


In case you missed it, updates from the August Monthly Coalition Call have been added to the post. Thank you to those of you for joining in on the conversation.


Many thanks for that message.

Best regards.


It’s not too late to sign up for tomorrow’s coalition call here - we hope to see you there!


Question received via helpdesk email:







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The November coalition all will take place on Tuesday, November 13 during the following times:

10:00 AM New York // 4:00 PM Brussels // 4:00 PM Cairo // 5:00 PM Addis Ababa // 9:00 PM Jakarta

Register for free here

We hope to see you there! :slight_smile:

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The November coalition call will take place in 30 minutes - we hope to see you there!


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Hi all - the next monthly Justice For All coalition call monthly coalition call is taking place tomorrow, Tuesday 11 December, at 10 AM EST. We hope to see you there!


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2018 has seen tremendous gains in the Campaign with highlights such as the elders walk, ten weeks of action including the UNGA

The next monthly justice for all coalition call is later today Tuesday (11th December) 10.00am EST. As this is the last month in winding down the year. It presents another unique opportunity to reflect on 2018 (the exciting milestones and global initiatives) and the year ahead focussing on global, regional and national agendas in the campaign including the High Level Political Forum slated for July 2019 in New York while preparing countries to engage in the Sustainable Development Goal process

We would also like to hear from you about what you did in regard to the Anti-corruption day on the 9th of December and the World Human rights Day on December 10th

Join us later today by registering here for the call and continue shaping our campaign in 2019

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Du courage et nous soutenons ce programme !


Join Justice For All for the February coalition call meeting on Tuesday 19 February 2019 at 10 am EST. We will be joined by other experts on some upcoming opportunities on engaging with the SDG VNR and OGP processes.

We hope to see you there! Please mention any other community members who might be interested in joining with an @NAME.

RSVP here

@madelinegunderson @MohammedAman


Hello colleague, can we join you even when speaking in French, we have many challenges to face human rights abusers in Eastern DRC, but we are still active to see if we can eradicate some challenges in the end of good respect for human rights by doing the legal empowerment campaigns, we are always together and make sure to help us mobilize the fund to help us to clear the right humais we are always at the looking for him who can support us in the small humanitarian activities we are doing in eastern DRC


Thank you @GostinKyubwa - you are more than welcome to join the calls and we hope you will share your experiences in DRC. At this stage, the calls are available in English, but please feel free to post any follow up questions or comments in your language in this post and we will do our best to address them during and after the call.


Hey all,

Looking forward to seeing you in a few minutes…

Thank you for these comprehensive call notes. Some small clarifications on the VNR Workshop in SA. The workshop is completely full right now and we cannot accommodate more participants in person. I’d be happy to provide feedback from this workshop. The workshop is supported by both the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Mott Foundation. :slight_smile:


Thanks for sharing. Justice for all

Dear all, we hope to see you at the April coalition call, beginning in 45 minutes. It’s not too late to register here.

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