SDG 16.3 and the New European Consensus on Development (2017) recognise that the promotion of the rule of law and justice are at the core of sustainable development and long-term peace and stability. The rule of law and the operation of the justice sector are fundamentally inter-connected. The justice sector should both uphold the rule of law and function according to its principles. The Consensus stipulates that the EU and its Member States will promote and foster efficient, transparent, independent, open and accountable justice systems and will promote access to justice for all, in particular the poor and persons in vulnerable situations.
The EU provides targeted support to justice systems worldwide, aiming to enhance their independence, impartiality, accountability, accessibility, efficiency and quality, and increase their compliance with international human rights standards. Interventions aim to promote the independence and impartiality of relevant justice actors, strengthen their capacities and improve management and performance of courts. The EU also pays special attention to improving prison and detention conditions, and to the promotion of access to justice for all, particularly for women, children, and vulnerable groups. Access to effective and fair justice systems is essential for addressing the underlying causes of poverty and inequality, and for contributing to shared prosperity, inclusive growth and a healthy business environment.
The proposed justice/rule of law results chain is a practical tool that aims to support INTPA staff in the design of justice interventions in line with the objectives of SDG 16.3 and the New European Consensus on Development (2017). The proposed results chain focuses on three main components at output level:
- Legal empowerment of people and access to justice;
- Capacity building of justice actors, transparency and accountability;
- Reforms and the legal institutional framework.
The previously mentioned three components are crucial for attaining five main results at outcome level:
- Improved access to justice for all;
- Improved accountability, transparency and credibility of the justice system;
- Improved efficiency and quality of justice;
- Improved individual and institutional independence and impartiality of the justice system;
- Improved prison management and detention conditions in line with human rights standards.
Those five main results are crucial for promoting respect for the right to a fair trial and equality before the law and, in the end, for promoting the rule of law and respect of human rights at impact level.
This results chain and the list of proposed indicators are a practical tool that will need to be adapted to the specific context and circumstances of each country and intervention. They do not aim to be exhaustive and in several cases will have to be used in complementarity with other results chains, such as those on anti-corruption, democracy, SSR, etc.
This results chain and the list of proposed indicators also aim to be an interactive tool, to be adapted and improved over time taking into consideration the feedback of its users.
Policy and Strategic Documents
- Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) (2021)
- GAP III objectives and indicators (SWD2020 - 284 final)
- Inspiring change - EU support to rule of law, justice, and security sector reform (2013)
- Support for justice and the rule of law, Tools and Methods Series, Reference Document no. 15 (2013)
- Support for Justice Reform in ACP countries, Tools and Methods Series, Reference Document no.9 (2011)
- Treaty of the European Union (2007)