What is Microjustice?
Microjustice is justice on a micro-level: it taking the person and their vulnerability as starting points. Thus, it entails providing a person with legal protection and access to the entitlements (services/benefits/utilities) of the society in which they live. Through legal empowerment, Microjustice transforms a vulnerable person into a citizen, enabling them to exercise their rights.
What does Microjustice do?
Microjustice aims to meet people’s basic legal needs by providing accessible and affordable standardized legal services. People’s legal needs are often not met because they cannot access the system due to a multitude of reasons, which marginalizes them from their country’s system. The purpose of Microjustice is to develop a sustainable system of standardized legal assistance to enable these people to enjoy the same rights as the rest of the population.
In order to achieve Microjustice, Microjustice focuses on non-litigious private and administrative legal matters. It offers practical legal solutions so that people can protect themselves, their business and their belongings is often takes the form of a legal document, the correction of birth certificates, death certificates, contracts, ID, business registration, registration of social organizations, property transfer and land registration. It also enables people and groups access the benefits and entitlements provided for in the system of their country (including access to education, healthcare, pension schemes and enfranchisement).
This work is crucial in the aftermath of a humanitarian crisis, because the victims need to access aid schemes and protect their person and belongings which have been lost or damaged. Microjustice’s input is comparable to the work of solicitors in the English legal system, except that the Legal Empowerment Methodology focuses on the basic rights of those at the bottom of the pyramid and victims of humanitarian crises.
Legal protection is essential for marginalized groups’ inclusion. Despite its importance, it has been largely neglected by the development and humanitarian-aid sector, and has yet to be included in donor funding schemes. SDG 16 offers an opportunity to overcome this challenge, and a solid basis to promote universal access to legal protection. The Legal Protection Program is currently being implemented in Bolivia, Kenya and Serbia, and will soon be carried out in Jordan and Ukraine!