From 30 May to 2 June, The Hague was front-and-centre in the justice world, and host to the World Justice Forum. The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL), one of the Humanity Hub’s members and main organisers of the Forum, looks back on this monumental coming together of justice leaders, practitioners, and innovators from around the world in this reflection piece.
2022 World Justice Forum Strengthens Global Partnerships and Commitments to SDG16+
Justice leaders, practitioners and innovators from across the world came together for the 2022 World Justice Forum. Participants renewed their commitment to ‘Building More Just Communities’ and focused on three pressing and intersecting priorities for strengthening justice and the rule of law: fighting corruption, closing the justice gap, and countering discrimination.
The conference was organised by the World Justice Project, IDLO, CIVICUS, HiiL, Pathfinders and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. More than 40 working sessions and side events took place in The Hague and online.
According to the World Justice Project 2021 Rule of Law Index, almost 85% of the world’s population now live in a country where rule of law is declining. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these trends, including rising authoritarianism, declining civic space, delayed justice, and other longstanding governance weaknesses.
Today, more than 5.1 billion people suffer from an unresolved or inadequately resolved justice problem. The urgency to address this crisis has never been greater. It should propel us to act. Therefore, the timing of these conversations at the Forum is spot-on.
Covering four days, the Forum sought to exchange and solidify the ideas crucial to building fairer and healthier communities. Among them was the paradigm-shifting concept of people-centred justice. HiiL organised various sessions about this including “People-centred justice: how to make it happen systematically?” led by CEO Sam Muller. This brought together important changemakers from several countries to discuss how national people-centred justice programmes can work on the ground.
The World Justice Forum also saw the launch of the Innovating Justice Fund, a first-of-its-kind financial tool for startups that sustainably deliver justice services. In the past ten years, HiiL has supported 139 startups and some of them are growing fast. Many of these successful entrepreneurs connect the public and private sectors to develop innovations that increase access to justice. HiiL’s session on ”Creating a Functional Justice Marketplace” explored what marketplace is required for these gamechanging justice services to scale.
Following four days of inspirational conversations, it was also time for renewed commitment to building more just communities. In order to make people-centred justice a reality, we gathered the elements for this in our key takeaways of the event.
“We emerge from the World Justice Forum with a fortified determination to breathe more life into SDG16+ and with a renewed commitment to tackle ‘our common agenda’ collaboratively across diverse sectors for change.”— Sam Muller, CEO at HiiL
The closing statement from the Forum reads, “We commit to rescue the rule of law, embodied in Sustainable Development Goal 16, [and] call for a redoubling of political will and investment to realise a new people-centred vision of the rule of law as an essential foundation for justice, opportunity, peace, and the achievement of all of the SDGs.” It also shares insights for providing justice for all in the three priority areas of action: fighting corruption, closing the justice gap, and countering discrimination.
For attendees and organisers alike, the conference signaled a watershed moment in reinvigorating responses to current and future challenges facing humanity.