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Access to Justice

Access to justice is defined as “the ability of people to seek and obtain a remedy through formal or informal institutions of justice, and in conformity with human rights standards”.

Access to Justice

Poverty, unemployment and inequality remain the biggest threats to South Africa’s democracy. Improved access to justice is essential for poverty eradication and human development. This requires making the courts and the judiciary accessible to poor and vulnerable communities.

Access to justice can be enhanced through increasing support to community-based organisations, and by ensuring that constitutional rights are realized.

Activities of the programme include support to advice offices, promoting the use of the Equality Courts and Equality Legislation, restorative-justice programmes and the transformation of the legal sector.

The following are examples of activities undertaken in this Access to Justice result area in the past:

  • New community advice offices will be established within a three year period - 45 Community Advice Offices (CAOs) in 3 years
  • Service level agreements (SLA) with CAOs will be entered into, in order to strengthen their capacity within a three year period (50 SLAs in 3 years)
  • A multifaceted strategy to educate people about the provisions of and access to their rights in respect of the Equality Act will be implemented
  • To divert less serious offenders from the formal justice system through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in a manner that recognizes the rights of the victims, whilst re-integrating the offender through community intervention(Restorative Justice)
  • Support for grassroots organization to assist targeted communities with systemic issues pertaining to socio-economic rights
  • Vulnerable and marginalised communities will be supported to access human rights services in South Africa and the region, including through legal assistance
  • The monitoring and application of litigation and constitutional judgments as a means of promoting equality and the eradication of poverty.
  • Assist with the transformation of the legal sector
  • Support programmes that address violence against women, children, the elderly and disabled