How We Started

Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies’ Grand Challenge on Justice seeks to accelerate action on providing equal access to justice for all. Explore the program's history and learn more about the work we've done to deliver measurable progress on justice outcomes.

task force on justice members posed on stairs

Setting the Justice Agenda (2018-2019)

In February 2018, the Task Force on Justice was formed to suggest practical ways to ensure ‘equal access to justice for all’. Chaired by ministers from Argentina, the Netherlands, Sierra Leone, and in collaboration with The Elders, this group brought together distinguished justice leaders and experts to establish strategies and accelerate delivery of SDG targets on justice for all. Pathfinders’ Justice team served as the secretariat for the Task Force on Justice.

The Task Force on Justice formed partnerships and oversaw research on three key workstreams:

  • Understanding the global justice gap
  • Making the case for investment in and financing for equal access to justice for all
  • Exploring effective strategies and policies for achieving equal access to justice for all

In February 2019, the Task Force on Justice held its final meeting during the Hague Justice Week at which more than 20 ministers came together to adopt the Hague Declaration on Equal Access to Justice for All by 2030 – a foundational document for the people-centered justice movement.

In July 2019, the Task Force on Justice and its partners published the flagship Justice for All report. The report notes that in order to close the global justice gap, resolve justice problems, prevent injustices, and use justice systems to enable people to participate in societies and economies, we must:

  • Place justice at the heart of sustainable development
  • Put people at the center of justice systems
  • Move from justice for the few to justice for all
The Justice for All report continues to act as the foundation for the Pathfinders for Justice’s efforts.

Justice for All Flagship Report about our work with
assembly line on a hill in a foreign country

Collaborating for Justice (2020-2021)

In February 2020, Pathfinders, in conjunction with justice partners, launched a Shared Strategy for 2020-2023 at the Innovating Justice Forum in The Hague. This vision was inspired by the 2030 SDG Agenda and the Justice for All report. It includes three key priorities:

  1. Accelerate action at the national level. Accelerated action at the national level through greater political support for people-centered justice, strengthened capacity for evidence-based strategies and plans, and increased commitments for governments and partners.
  2. Build a global and regional alliance to support national action. Coherent and comprehensive support from international and regional actors, and from multistakeholder partnerships and networks including increased financing and better data and evidence.
  3. Mobilize for justice for all. An effective and empowered global, regional, national, and local movement for justice for all.

In April 2021, the Pathfinders for Justice, The Elders, g7+, and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a ministerial meeting, which led to a Joint Letter to the UN Secretary-General on reimagining the social contract and putting people at the center of justice. This meeting, and the letter, laid the foundation for the formation of the Justice Action Coalition, a multi-stakeholder, high-ambition coalition of countries and organizations championing equal access to justice for all, for which Pathfinders for Justice currently acts as the secretariat.

Joint Letter to the United Nations Secretary-General about our work with
crowd marching with justice banners

Mobilizing for Justice for All (2022-Present)

In its current phase, Pathfinders for Justice aims to build on its comparative advantage as a convener and knowledge broker to catalyze the shift towards people-centered justice. By actively implementing the Task Force on Justice’s agenda for action, supporting the Justice Action Coalition, bringing justice partners together behind the movement for closing the justice gap, and promoting people-centered justice in countries from all regions and income groups, Pathfinders for Justice is working to achieve measurable progress on SDG 16.3. Looking toward the second SDG Summit in September 2023 and beyond, the program focuses on:

  • Political mobilization and alignment on people-centered justice
  • A shared vision and aligned messaging on people-centered justice
  • National action on SDG 16.3 and shifts toward people-centered justice
  • Strengthened regional and multi-stakeholder collaboration
  • Data and evidence to encourage national action and increase financing on people-centered justice