End the duopoly

The SDGs, access to civil justice, and legal technology

This blog critically assesses the potential of legal tech for improving access to civil justice as measured by the new Sustainable Development Goals indicator 16.3.3. Unresolved legal issues engender marginalisation . The need for better legal aid services is significant not only in Least Developed Countries , but remains a challenge in emerging and developed economies as well and affects minorities, rural populations, women and children in particular. SDG 16 (specifically Target 16.3) aims to promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all. When the SDG indicators were established in 2015, civil justice problems were – as noted by the World Justice project and others – deemed too complex and ubiquitous to be included in the SDG framework, resulting in the initial adoption instead of two criminal justice focused indicators on crime reporting (16.3.1) and detainees (16.3.2). After a long and complex process (unpacked here ), a new indicator 16.3.3 on civil justice was finally adopted by the UN Statistical Commission at its 51st session in March this year . Indicator SDG 16.3.3 covers the “proportion of the population who have experienced a dispute in the past two […]

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