National Legal Reform Program

Lawyers need crucial support to build on this momentum and strengthen their capacity to monitor policy developments and pursue legislative and structural reforms in the country. As an implementing partner of the Legal Reform Program (LRP), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Tetra Tech helps address these needs by working with justice sector actors and providing targeted technical and organizational support in areas such as legal analysis. draft legislation, public information, gender equality and international standards and best practices. By developing partnerships between government and civil society, LRP will promote mutual understanding, respect for the rule of law and access to justice for all citizens. A dispute means taking a case to court. Strategic litigation refers to public interest litigation that seeks to bring about a material change to the law – for example, clarifying, amending or expanding the law in support of an overall legal reform objective – by invoking an individual case.2 Those involved in strategic litigation are generally victims of human rights violations – committed by the government or others. powerful actors – who are also experienced by other people. Thus, strategic litigation often focuses on an individual case in order to bring about systemic change for a much broader group of people. In July, our office supported a convocation hosted by Attorney General Garland and the White House Office of the Attorney General, along with Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta and other representatives of reproductive rights and justice lawyers, to explore partnerships that ensure access to justice in a complex and changing legal landscape. Former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy once said, “[We must] try to ensure that the scales [of justice] measure the truth, not the legal fees.” This is the crucial and difficult mandate that often rests on the shoulders of public defenders. In addition to legal reforms and strategic litigation, legal strengthening is also important to ensure accountability for the SDGs.

Legal empowerment is about strengthening the capacity of all people to exercise their rights – as individuals or as members of a community – and ensuring that the law is available and meaningful to citizens. Approaches to legal empowerment may include legal education, information, advocacy, organization and/or mediation. It is often promoted by a large community of front-line paralegals trained in law to help citizens find concrete solutions to cases of injustice. Approaches to strengthening the legal situation involve the grassroots, which is particularly important for the implementation, monitoring and review of the SDGs at national and subnational levels. This, in turn, can lead to more integrated and systematic approaches to SDG implementation. The Criminal Law Reform Project is a division of the national ACLU. The Criminal Law Reform Project, which emerged from the Drug Law Reform Project in 2010, aims to end excessively harsh criminal policies that lead to mass incarceration and criminalization and hinder a just, equal and humane society. To reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, the CLRP focuses on preventing over-incarceration and overcriminalization at the “beginning” of the criminal justice system. We fulfill our mission through strategic litigation and advocacy that promotes reform and combats racism in the criminal justice system. 4. Seek professional legal assistance and support – Strategic litigation is costly, time-consuming, and often requires the help of trained lawyers to conduct litigation.

Therefore, civil society organizations should seek to identify sources of free or free legal advice, or have lawyers as members of their civil society coalition.17 Some legal groups are sometimes willing to provide free advice, such as the American Bar Association (ABA) or the International Development and Law Organization (IDLO).18 And last month, for the first time, we held a meeting of the 132 Executive Directors of legal services organizations receiving Legal Services Corporation grants from across the country at the Department of Justice with Attorney General Garland and Assistant Attorney General Gupta. Today, and especially after a global pandemic, we find ourselves at a time when the justice gap continues to prevent too many people from having meaningful access to the protections and rights promised by our legal systems. And “access” means much more than a good day in court. Tetra Tech`s funding program will help local and national civil society organizations and community-based organizations conduct citizen engagement and awareness campaigns and provide legal assistance to vulnerable citizens. The project will also train and support journalists to cover complex legal issues, taking advantage of the new digital media landscape that has emerged in Uzbekistan. In Utah, the unprotected community lives mostly by the river and is rarely able to go to courtrooms to resolve legal issues. In response, public defenders, defense lawyers, judges and court administrators began to bring the court to the people – Kayak Court. South Africa: South Africa has more people living with HIV than any other country in the world and affects about 18 per cent of the population. In 2001, the HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women was estimated at 24.5 per cent and the number of infants born with the virus was about 70,000 per year. Treatment Action Campaign, an AIDS advocacy CSO, has sued the South African government in the Constitutional Court for lack of access to medicines designed to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus during labour.

In 2000, the Government announced a programme to launch the antiretroviral drug nevirapine in a limited number of pilot projects. Nevirapine can significantly reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. However, the Treatment Action Campaign argued that these restrictions resulted in unnecessary infections and deaths and violated Articles 27 and 28 of the South African Constitution. The Court ruled that the government must ensure access to the drug for all pregnant women living with HIV, and that restrictions on the drug for research purposes prevent access to those who might reasonably be involved. It is estimated that the verdict saved tens of thousands of lives and was a significant step towards the right of access to life-saving medicines. The successful advocacy of the Therapeutic Action Campaign has also served as a catalyst to mobilize global efforts to provide antiretroviral treatment in developing countries, which is essential for progress towards the SDG. 3.20.20 Strategic litigation can also be used to ensure the soundness, legality and constitutionality of public policies. laws and official conduct in relation to SDG implementation.4 In addition, strategic litigation can be used to hold a government accountable for its own implementation – or lack thereof. In particular, disputes may be invoked when the provisions of the SDGs overlap with a country`s human rights and/or constitutional provisions.

For example, civil society may challenge and attempt access to basic services for vulnerable groups (SDG target 1.4) if the right of access is provided for in the country`s constitution or in international human rights treaties to which the country is a party. If government actions compromise access to basic services or cause disproportionate harm to individuals or groups, strategic litigation may require the government to justify its actions, adopt a specific action plan, or establish an oversight mechanism that promotes accountability.5 Along with the report, ATJ worked with those affected by the justice system to create an Organizing a Mock Reintegration program, which allowed senior officials from all member agencies to discuss the complex barriers faced by those affected by the criminal justice system.