INVITATION: Achieving Access to Justice through Partnership - The Global South Leading the Way

In 2015, member states committed to delivering access to justice for all by 2030. But this year a report by the Pathfinders Task Force on Justice found that 5.1 billion people still do not have access to justice. How is this gap going to be bridged?

Lack of access to justice is a problem in all countries, including in some of the most prosperous nations. However the most innovative progress towards access to justice in recent years has been led by countries in the global south where long-term political commitment to achieving comprehensive access to justice is delivering significant impacts across many other SDGs, from economic growth to gender equality, health and education.

The Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights based at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa), together with the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice will highlight two outstanding examples of how governments have responded to the justice challenge by supporting legal empowerment to deliver access to justice for all.

In Indonesia, government and civil society are working together to establish a national network of local legal aid organizations. This network is helping to bring locally-responsive justice advice and solutions to every part of Indonesia’s diverse islands and communities. Together, government and civil society are taking forward Indonesia’s ambitious Legal Aid Law which has recognized the role played by paralegal advisors from civil society organizations in achieving access to justice for all.

In South Africa, a network of independent Community Advice Offices (CAOs) offers free legal and human rights information, advice and assistance to marginalized people. CAOs are staffed by nonlawyer community members and play a vital role in securing access to justice and advancing substantive rights, including health, housing and decent work.

All participants of the UN High Level Political Forum are welcome to join for this side event – no UN pass is required.


  • Dr. Diani Sadiawati, Deputy Minister of Development Planning, Indonesia
  • Febi Yonesta, Co-Chair, Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation
  • Dr. Winnie Martins, Centre for Community Justice and Development, South Africa
  • Representative from the government of South Africa (TBC)

Moderator: Sumaiya Islam, Senior Program Manager, Open Society Justice Initiative

16 July 2019, Tuesday: 1:15pm - 2:45pm,

Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza,

One UN Plaza, New York, 10017, USA

* A light lunch will be served at 1pm

For RSVP and further questions, please contact Aidan Harris, Program Officer, Open Society Foundations & Gladys Mirugi-Mukundi, Dullah Omar Institute: gmirugi-