Title: Access to Justice Index: 2018 Global Rankings

Lead Presenter: Basavanagouda Shivaraj Patil

Co-Presenters:

  1. Daryana Gryaznova
  2. Octavio Azevedo

Session Abstract: ACCESS TO JUSTICE INDEX™ : 2018 GLOBAL RANKINGS The year 2015 marked a milestone for global developmental efforts. The United Nations through revamped Millennium Development Goals ushered in new objectives in the form of 'Sustainable Development Goals', also known as 'Global Goals'. It is also a landmark event for the legal community; for 'Access to Justice' found its rightful place as one of the agendas. In pursuance, we bring to you an unique Index called 'Access to Justice Index™' - designed to evaluate countries receptiveness and preparedness in providing access to legal resources (broadly-Access to Justice). Many ground realities intervene as barriers to the access of justice movement-poverty, illiteracy, physical inaccessibility, bureaucratic indifference, to name a few. It is to remedy these inequities that it becomes necessary to quantify the extent to which a person can access mechanisms for administering justice. In pursuance, we initiated this project with an objective to study and evaluate accessibility and availability of adjudicatory mechanisms to the common man in the five BRICS Countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The Index will also facilitate greater information dissemination on the best practices across jurisdictions. It will aid in knowledge sharing on justice education, increasing accessibility to unique programs and increasing visibility to the ongoing projects across jurisdictions. Therefore, the aim of this Index is not merely statistical, but also progressive in nature. The ranking is only a small part of the Index. The primary goal is to act as an information tool for sharing best practices among different legal jurisdictions. One of the long term objectives of the project-although ambitious-is to design a methodology for including Rule of Law & Access-to-justice as components of the Human Development Index (HDI), and other developmental indices: as we believe these form a crucial criteria in assessing any country and its governance model. It would be a remarkable achievement if the UN adopts some of the indicators considered under Access to Justice Index™ in order to assess Goal 16 of the Global Goals. There might be several limitations to the present rankings, we are optimistic of receiving suggestions and recommendations-from GAJE Mexico Conference-in addressing these issues and ways to inculcate some of the assessment criteria that we might have missed. The primary concerns still remain: How do we harmonize difference legal jurisdictions? Is it fair to place India and Ghana on the same platform in evaluating? Do we segregate jurisdictions based on a criteria? What criteria should this be? Our aim through this presentation at GAJE will be to discuss these issues and to invite participants to be part of designing the 2018 Access to Justice Index. The theme of 2016 Access to Justice Index therefore was rightly decided as “Collaborate, Deliberate and Develop”. The 2018 theme is "Judicial Inclusion".

Session Material:

  1. Access to Justice Index Brochure

See full list of abstracts here.