Executive summary

The OECD Framework and Good Practice Principles for People-Centred Justice outline elements for a government-wide strategy for people-centred justice, inter-agency cooperation and communication, as well as mechanisms to ensure accountability and sustainability. Building on evidence-based analysis of good practices around the world, they provide a basis for a people-centred reform of justice and aim to help countries implement their commitments enshrined in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 to provide access to justice for all. Further, in line with the OECD Reinforcing Democracy Initiative, they attempt to help build more responsive justice systems that contribute to foster citizens’ trust in public institutions and strengthen democratic governance models.

Building on a people-centred purpose as its foundation, the Framework addresses the why, what and how of people-centred justice across four Pillars.

  • Pillar 1 “Designing and delivering people-centred services” focuses on the design, establishment and maintenance of justice service delivery. It highlights the need to identify citizens’ justice needs and what works for each group in society, as well as how to deliver accessible services, including for the most vulnerable groups.

  • Pillar 2 “Governance enablers and infrastructure” concerns the role of government and other key justice actors in establishing justice systems that are accessible and ensure that citizens’ justice needs are effectively addressed. It includes approaches to establish whole-of-government engagement, foster access to technology and data, drive justice system simplification and seamless case referrals, and maintain people-centred innovation.

  • Pillar 3 “People empowerment” focuses on the importance of strengthening people’s capabilities on both sides of the justice service delivery system. On the one hand, it considers how to empower people by raising their legal literacy and awareness and the co-design of justice services. On the other, it recognises the need to develop capabilities of those working in the justice sector.

  • Finally, Pillar 4 “Planning, monitoring and accountability” pivots around the role of justice data to establish and maintain evidence-based mechanisms to support decision making, delivery and monitoring of people-centred justice services.

The Good Practice Principles similarly promote a people-centred approach to justice system performance. They mirror the structure of the Framework, setting out a series of principles that contribute to the objectives under each of the four Pillars.

Looking ahead, the Framework and Good Practice Principles serve as the foundation for the development of further analytical work on people-centred justice and the continued support to OECD Member and partner countries in this area.


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