17 Jul 2019 Story Environmental rights and governance

Addressing justice and sustainable development

According to the World Justice Project’s Measuring the Justice Gap report, the justice needs of 5 billion people around the world are unmet. These are people who cannot obtain justice for everyday problems, people who are excluded from the opportunity the law provides, and people who live in extreme conditions of injustice. At the 6th World Justice Forum, held in The Hague, the Netherlands, governments, organizations, and individuals responded by showcasing their justice initiatives and Commitments to Justice in response to the findings of the report.

The forum, held in April 2019, brought together close to 1,000 governmental, non-governmental actors and private sector leaders from more than 70 countries and over 300 organizations, to address principal challenges to delivering justice, and to provide avenues for forming better solutions and strengthening existing ones.

The UN Environment Programme provided advice on how legal tools can be used to advance justice and public health, including a proposed initiative to train lawyers and judges to help bridge the gaps between laws and health outcomes for affected populations. The initiative was welcomed by the participants as one of the potential avenues for addressing environmental injustice.

The forum focused on practical solutions that have and can be used to address and close the justice gap. Given the diverse nature of representation from multi-sector actors, participants gained varied knowledge and insight of solutions to advancing access to justice.

UN Environment supports the International Bar Association in drafting resolutions on integrating environmental law training into national bar associations’ continuing legal education programmes. Through building partnerships with law institutions, UN Environment will influence the integration of environmental law in schools’ curricula.

For more information, please contact: Allan.Meso[at]un.org I Niamh.Brannigan[at]un.org I Catherine.Abuto[at]un.org