International Development Law Organisation (IDLO)

IDLO was founded in 1983 by a group of lawyers working in international development agencies in Africa. IDLO provides developing countries, countries in economic transition and those emerging from armed conflict with the resources, tools and professional skills to establish or strengthen the rule of law and good governance practices.

Telephone: +39 06 40403200
Fax: +39 06 40403232
Email: idlo@idlo.int
Website: www.idlo.int
Viale Vaticano
106 00165 Rome
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Policy and Research Papers

The Mystery of Legal Empowerment: Livlihood and Community Justice in Bolivia

The linkages between good governance, rule of law and economic growth, once more fully understood, have the potential to unshackle economies and decrease poverty throughout the developing world. Currently, however, most initiatives are heavy in rhetoric and light on directly addressing the legal structures and policies that affect the poor. Until developing countries can enable their vast populations of poor citizens to actively participate in their economies, their growth and the creation of egalitarian societies will be severely hampered. Analyzing and building on the final report of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and other previous work, this article outlines a functional approach to addressing the most critical needs of the poor, including but not limited to issues that directly affect livelihoods and economic opportunity. It accordingly aims to help the poor gain a foothold in effecting their own development and making legal empowerment a reality. By introducing important lessons in ommunity-based justice from an access to justice program in Bolivia, the article provides tangible examples that might help shape legal empowerment initiatives to best address the needs of the poor.

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Customary Justice: from Program Design to Impact Evaluation

is intended to provide guidance to international and national actors on the potential role of customary justice systems in fostering the rule of law and access to justice in post-conflict, post-disaster and development contexts. The book wishes to provoke thought among practitioners about the objectives of customary law interventions, to encourage critical assessments of the criteria on which programming decisions are made, and to provide tools to assist in gauging the extent to which interventions are having a positive impact.

To view this publication, please follow this link.

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A Crisis of Confidence, Competence and Capacity: Programming Advice For Strengthening Mali’s Penal Chain

this report was researched and written on a tight timeline (mid-January to mid-May 2015), it focuses on the issues that emerged as the most salient ones in the course of the research. Moreover the various past and present efforts to improve the Malian justice system have  been examined in terms of the results they have achieved. In consequence, the report is best read as a panoramic snapshot of Mali’s ‘state of criminal justice’ at this particular point in time, nwhich it subsequently translates into general considerations and building blocks for programming efforts that seek to strength en Mali’s penal chain.

For full access to A Crisis of Confidence, Competence and Capacity: Programming Advice For Strengthening Mali’s Penal Chain, kindly follow the link.

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Examination of Legal Aid in Haiti - Lessons Learned

Between 2 and 18 February 2017 a joint team from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (MINUSTAH and the Justice and Corrections Service) and the USAID Justice Sector Strengthening Program (JSSP), supported by DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) undertook a mission to Haiti that examined the MINUSTAH-supported Legal Aid Office (Bureau d’Assistance Légale - BAL) of Port-au-Prince (2012-2017), Cap-Haïtien and Les Cayes (2015-2016), legal aid projects implemented by PROJUSTICE/USAID, and Government-supported BAL established between 2015 and 2017.

The mission report is available in English and French. 

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Women Delivering Justice: Contributions, Barriers, Pathways

This report looks at the importance of women's professional participation in decision making bodies as a human right and crucial component of good governance, particularly in the justice sector. Despite gaps in data and research, as their numbers and influence solidify, women are emerging as important justice leaders. A growing body of empirical research suggests that women judges contribute to improved access to justice for women, by supporting women's specific justice needs across a range of issues. Yet, barriers remain to women's participation in the justice sector, including individual, social and institutional factors. The report examines the pathways that have facilitated women's accession in the sector, elaborating lessons and good practices and detailing policy recommendations to facilitate change.

To read the full report Women Delivering Justice: Contributions, Barriers, Pathways, please follow the link.

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Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems

IDLO has produced a practitioner brief which is part of its series on "Navigating Complex Pathways to Justice: Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems” to advance policy dialogue and distil lessons from programming and research but also to help strengthen customary and informal justice systems as an integral part of providing access to justice for all. This Practitioner Brief offers a set of concrete tools, recommendations and good practices to support engagement with customary and informal justice systems.

For full access to the practitioner brief, Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems, kindly follow the link. 

You can also have access to their policy and issue brief on the same topic, Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems, by kindly following the link.

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Policy and Issue Brief: Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems

In a bid to make justice accessible for all, IDLO has launched a series of Consultations on customary and informal justice systems. The global dialogue is informed by a series of publications titled “Navigating Complex Pathways to Justice: Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems” that seeks to advance policy dialogue and distil lessons from programming and research, to help realize Sustainable Development Goal 16. This Policy and Issue Brief presents findings and policy recommendations for engaging with customary and informal justice systems, and providing information on features and challenges related to engagement.

For full access to the Policy and Issue Brief: Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems, kindly follow the link.

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