ANNE-KRISTIN TREIBER Conflict Adviser, Security and Justice Team Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department UK aid

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1 Proceedings Conference Brussels ANNE-KRISTIN TREIBER Conflict Adviser, Security and Justice Team Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department UK aid Reducing poverty by investing in justice Distinguished guests, dear colleagues, Let me start by thanking Avocats Sans Frontières for organizing this very timely conference on access to justice and poverty reduction as we prepare for the next international development framework post MDGs. I am delighted to be here, learning more about your experiences and approaches in this thematic area. I have been asked to speak about DFID s approach to access to justice as part of our wider development assistance. Let me precede this by saying a few words about DFID: DFID is a UK Government department that delivers UK aid to developing countries. Our central purpose is to reduce poverty in developing countries, in particular through achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We have a particular focus on fragile and conflict affected states. I. Context: Poverty and A2J As we have already heard throughout the morning sessions, poverty and injustice are closely linked. The UN estimates that up to four billion people globally live outside fair and functioning justice systems, denying them property rights, redress for abuses, protection from violence and avenues for peaceful conflict resolution. This manifests itself in a number of different ways for example 25% of the world's 1.1 billion poor people are landless. In Uganda, only 5% of the land is held by women. In some countries, over three quarters of all prisoners are pre-trial detainees. This affects the poor significantly: without land rights or access to land, livelihood opportunities are threatened, without protection of assets, barriers to economic opportunities are created. Inaccessible justice systems mean people can t protect their legal rights or resolve grievances. Likewise, when poor people feel unsafe it stops them accessing health, education or making the most of economic opportunities. A lack of access to justice can therefore act as an important barrier to wealth creation and other development outcomes.

2 As the Commission for Legal Empowerment found, difficulties in obtaining access to justice can reinforce poverty and exclusion 1. In many developing countries, the law and legal institutions do not give equal opportunity and protection to the poor and marginalised. The police may not take their concerns seriously, there may be no lawyers and the courts may be remote, expensive and speak an unfamiliar language. Even when constitutions and legal frameworks are fair, the poor may not be able to access their rights, social norms and power structures may discriminate against them. Injustice can also contribute to gender discrimination: women often suffer from inadequate property and inheritance rights, denying them equal ownership or access to assets. On the other hand justice is central to strengthening the rule of law, building legitimate states and addressing conflict and fragility. Without functional justice systems be they formal or informal, the peaceful management of disputes becomes impossible. When security and justice institutions are effective, fair, legitimate and accountable, they can reduce the likelihood that people will turn to violence to settle disputes. Equally, if these institutions perform poorly or are discriminatory, they can foster grievances that contribute to violent conflict between individuals, communities or even regionally across borders 2. For instance, it has been shown that countries with weak rule of law, government effectiveness and control of corruption have a 30-40% higher risk of civil war, and a significantly higher risk of extreme criminal violence than other developing countries. Functional justice systems are all the more critical as many of today s conflicts are related to sharing of economic assets and resources which affect the poor disproportionately. Land and water are often the only assets the poor claim rights to. Lack of clarity over land rights can lead to unjust expropriations without due process, loss of livelihoods, grievances and conflict. External factors such as climate change advanced desertification or floods can lead to an increase in competition over scarce resources such as land and water and can further exacerbate conflict in the absence of effective mechanisms to resolve disputes. Finally, it has been clearly proven that war and civil conflict are obstacles to human development. For example, the rates of poverty, maternal mortality, malnutrition and children out of school are significantly higher in countries that have experienced armed violence 3. People in fragile and conflict-affected states are more than three times as likely to be unable to send their children to school; and twice as likely to see their children die before the age of 5. No conflictaffected country has achieved any of the Millennium Development Goals 4. The economic costs of conflict - civil war and very high levels of violent crime- has been estimated as ranging from 2-3% of GDP (World Bank, 2011). Considering this evidence, we can say that investing in the rule of law, including in access to justice can make an important contribution to preventing violent conflict, building stability and furthering human development. 1 Making the Law Work for Everyone (2008), volume 1, Albright, M and H de Soto 2 2 DFID policy paper World Bank (2011), op. cit. 4 Ibid.

3 II. DFID policy objectives on access to justice and how it fits within UK aid approach to development Our approach Our current security and justice policy was first developed in 2000 to promote security and access to justice for all, in particular the poor and vulnerable. Our assistance should aim to deliver: 1) personal safety and security of property; and 2) access to fair, speedy and non-discriminatory justice systems. The UK treats access to justice as a basic service, on a par with health and education, and a fundamental right as recognised in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The law, the judicial system, respect for human rights and combating impunity are all integral to justice. The links across the criminal justice system, form policing to prosecution, courts to prisons are all crucial. Working in just one segment can place a burden on another part of the chain 5. DFID therefore takes a sector approach to security and justice which looks at crucial linkages between different components of a justice and security system and which assesses problems from a user s perspective, particularly poor and vulnerable groups. This means we pursue a people centred approach: taking people s experiences of justice and security as a starting point rather than just institutions. We therefore work with informal providers as well as with the state. We strive to support structures, which minimise the opportunities for repression and maximise the impact of our security and justice programmes on poor people and especially women and girls. We focus on building effective, accountable and accessible security and justice systems, as we believe they are fundamental to protecting individual rights, promoting personal safety and preventing violent conflict. In fact, they are a central element of state-society relationship and therefore core to fragile and conflict-affected states. We also acknowledge that in many fragile states, the majority of justice is delivered through informal or traditional systems. They can often play a critical role in resolving local conflicts. They often provide quicker, cheaper and more culturally relevant remedies. But they also reflect prevailing power relations and can also be discriminatory, corrupt and coercive. Understanding why citizens turn to the justice providers that they do and how to ensure equitable access to justice for all is an important part of our approach. Justice and security are also part of an emerging policy agenda on the rule of law: the rule of law has been identified by the Prime Minister s Golden Thread as a key enabler for successful economic and social development. Within the rule of law concept, security and justice are central characteristics of open societies and open economies. Our programmes We have led the way in designing and funding programmes that take an explicit pro poor approach. In order to achieve outcomes for the poorest, efforts are needed to enhance the capability, responsiveness, accountability and accessibility of state and non-state security and justice mechanisms. This means that service providers must meet the need of the population and respect their rights. Upstream interventions need to address policy, planning and budget process that prioritise the poor and vulnerable, for example by supporting the analysis of security and justice in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). 6 5 BSOS 6 Explanatory note on security and access to justice for the poor, 2007, DFID Practice Paper

4 At present, DFID is funding Security and Justice programmes in 16 countries, with half of them in fragile states. Most are delivered through a cross-sectoral approach, addressing both security and justice and strengthening linkages between formal and informal systems. We have developed a focus in certain areas within the sector, where we have a comparative advantage over other donors and where demand and the potential impact has been greatest. These areas include (i) Police reform: improving the police s effectiveness and performance in order to enhance the quality of security service provision, (ii) Community security, access to justice and legal empowerment: community level, the poor and vulnerable as a means to promote local ownership and resilience and (iii) Institutional effectiveness and accountability. As part of our institutional commitments we aim to improving access to security and justice services for 10m women and girls by 2015 and to design new programmes in 12 fragile and conflict affected states. A few examples of what we are doing on access to justice: In Bangladesh, DFID is funding a 17m Community Legal Service Programme which will provide access to justice through alternative dispute resolution, legal aid and legal awareness raising to 10 million poor people, 80% of which are women. This builds on a previous programme, 96% of beneficiaries of community legal services stated that they had become less poor as a result of it, through the resolution of disputes relating to dowry, maintenance and other monetary related disputes. In Nepal, DFID supports a network of paralegal committees at the village level to protect women and children from exploitation, violence and abuse, and to improve access to justice and local mediation when violations occur. A recent survey found that 73% of respondents stated there is less violence against women since the committees were established (Annual Review 2012). We are supporting efforts to increase the efficiency of the justice systems and reduce the number of pre-trial detentions in Malawi. Paralegal support in prisons and police stations was able to assist over 100,000 people between 2007 and This included the release of almost 3,500 people. What these programmes have demonstrated is that legal empowerment can be an effective strategy to help the poor claim their rights in both formal and informal systems, widen access to justice and tackle the root causes of exclusion, vulnerability and poverty. We are currently investing in further research, evidence and practice in this area through a partnership with the Open Society Institute. Together we have established a Global Legal Empowerment Initiative an international policy and research centre aimed at strengthening practice in legal empowerment approaches and gathering evidence of their impact. The initiative, implemented by the organization Namati is testing the hypothesis that legal empowerment approaches can have significant socio-economic benefits, particularly for women. It will pilot different approaches to legal empowerment and generate information about what works, why and which interventions represent best value for money. It promotes innovative solutions, co-ordinates best practice and provides advisory services to legal empowerment practitioners, including donor staff.

5 DFID also works at the international policy level to support l evidence and consensus on the importance of security and justice and best approaches to reform through the OECD DAC, the International Dialogue on Statebuilding and Peacebuilding and the UN, including discussions about a post-2015 international development framework. Lessons that inform our work Justice reform is politically difficult but improvements are possible, particularly at the community level where most people access justice. Although DFID is increasing its work on informal institutions, working with formal institutions remains a key pillar of our security and justice work in the majority of countries we operate in. Security and justice programmes need to define their impact in terms of effect on communities and citizens. Approaches must be driven by local context rather than preconceived models. This means engaging with the institutional realities that effect daily life, where informal institutions are likely to be as important as formal ones. In order to achieve pro-poor outcomes, interventions need to address both the supply and demand sides of reform, taking into account the need for partnerships with non-state providers, civil society organisations, and sector-wide collaboration. We also need to work towards improvement in the institutions responsible for delivering services and accessing rights. As the World Development Report 2011 has underlined, in order to move away from cycles of violence and make development progress, fragile and conflicted affected countries need to build confidence between the state and society. This is central to the state-building process and to enable economic development. The OECD DAC is developing a guidance note on how to improve security and justice programming in situations of fragility. INCAF has recognized that situations of fragility require distinct approaches to S&J programming. One of the findings is that investing in political engagement and national ownership from the outset of programme design are fundamental to achieving results. More flexibility in setting and revising program results to be able to use deeper understanding, windows of opportunity and changing political priorities. Our evidence base is still limited, and we are continuously working to develop a more systematic understanding of the most effective combination of interventions. We are for instance engaging directly with new research programmes in London School of Economics and the University of Birmingham. We are also supporting a range of civil society organizations under the Programme Partnership Agreements (PPA) such as Avocats Sans Frontières and Penal Reform International to develop innovative programming models and build the evidence base on A2J across regions and different country contexts. I would like to conclude with a few remarks on access to justice in the context of post is evidently an important year for the international development community as we are in the process of developing a new framework post This is an opportunity to galvanise efforts to tackle not just the symptoms but also the causes of poverty. We have been working in concert with other states and actors to advocate for the inclusion of security and justice in the new framework. There is increasing consensus that personal security and justice are important development outcomes in their own right but also critical building blocks for sustainable peace and development, and should therefore feature in any post development framework. This has been recognized by a range of policy frameworks, such as

6 o o The New Deal for Fragile States recognises the multi-dimensional drivers of conflict and includes security and justice in its Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals, alongside inclusive politics and economic goods and employment opportunities. The high-level meeting and resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 highlights the importance of rule of law to peace, sustainable development, inclusive growth and the eradication of poverty 7. The UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda is about to deliver its final report. We are hopeful that it will deliver critical entry points for the justice and security agenda and we will continue to work towards an international consensus for S&J to feature in post-mdg framework. 7 United Nations (2012) The Rule of Law at National and International Levels. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly. A/RES/66/102. New York: United Nations.

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