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 served 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 engaged 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 High Level Dialogue took place in the context of the Global Justice Week For Justice .
To find out more about the Working Group, please visit this page.