In the Declaration of the High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law, Heads of States and governments emphasized the right of equal access to justice for all, reaffirming their commitment to ensure fair, transparent, effective, non-discriminatory and accountable justice services to leave no one behind.

To achieve sustainable peace and development, the UN System supports the rule of law in building good and strong governance in war torn and fragile countries, focusing on building effective, accountable and transparent institutions and strengthening the collaboration between central authorities, local government and other sub-national authorities.

In strengthening access to justice and good governance, the UN system works with national partners to develop national strategic plans and programmes for justice reform and service delivery.  UN entities support Member States in strengthening justice by empowering the poor and marginalized to seek response and remedies for injustice; improving legal protection, legal awareness, and legal aid; civil society and parliamentary oversight; addressing challenges in the justice sector such as inhumane prison conditions, lengthy pre-trial detention, and impunity for perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence and other serious conflict-related crimes; and strengthening linkages between formal and informal structures.

The justice components of peace operations help to lay the foundations for the longer-term strengthening and reform of rule of law institutions requires strong partnerships with national authorities, development actors and civil society who will continue the work after the end of the mission because a secure environment instills public confidence in the peace process, and is also conducive to longer-term development efforts.

They help to:

  • Deliver Basic Justice Services

  • Assist nationally-led investigations and prosecutions of atrocity crimes and crimes that fuel conflict

  • Support the resolution of disputes over land and other resources that drive conflict

  • Reduce the level of prolonged and arbitrary detentions;

  • Enhance the professionalism and accountability of judicial staff and systems

  • Develop and implement national justice reform strategies

  • Strengthen the legislative and regulatory framework

In addition, support is provided to informal mechanisms as tools to deliver justice in rural and urban areas. As described in the Declaration of the High-Level meeting on the Rule of Law;

…these mechanisms, when in accordance with international human rights law, play a positive role in dispute resolution, and that everyone, particularly women and those belonging to vulnerable groups, should enjoy full and equal access to these justice mechanisms.