AU Watch

Access To Justice

Under the African regional human rights system, relevant legal instruments confer substantive human and peoples’ rights on African individuals and groups. There are also some justice mechanisms (judicial and quasi-judicial) for their enforcement at the regional level when local remedies fail or are non-existent. However, due to factors like political influence and the nature of some provisions of some of the instruments, access to the mechanisms and, therefore, to justice, eludes most individuals and groups.

Access to justice is a basic principle of the rule of law. In the absence of access to justice, people are unable to have their voice heard, exercise their rights, challenge discrimination or hold decision-makers accountable. The Declaration of the High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law emphasizes the right of equal access to justice for all, including members of vulnerable groups, and reaffirmed the commitment of Member States to taking all necessary steps to provide fair, transparent, effective, non-discriminatory and accountable services that promote access to justice for all

We believe everyone should have access to justice, yet three fourths of the African population don’t know have access to justice. A lack of access to justice leads to issues of poverty, homelessness, ill health, unemployment, broken households, and many other social and personal difficulties.

So, how do we help?
• We do a lot of pro-bono work.
• We give grants to advice agencies and individuals that provide legal advice on a range of issues.
• To support the sector by providing leadership and encouraging collaboration.