Wednesday, July 24, 2013

HiiL--Innovating Justice Book Published

HiiL is an advisory and research institute for the justice sector. Its mission is to provide knowledge to make law work for people and their organisations. Maurits Barendrecht, HiiL's Academic Director, has recently announced the publication of "Innovating Justice: Developing New Ways to Bring Fairness Between People."

Barendrecht explains that its object is to "find new ways to protect rights and make access to justice affordable, building on the skills of people in prisons and in remote villages [and to l]earn how lawmaking and court procedures are becoming high tech." Sam Muller, Director, HiiL and co-author "Innovating Justice," noted: “We all have a responsibility to make justice work. You may be an activist, an entrepreneur, working in a ministry, a judge, a lawyer or a clerk. Together, you create the ecosystem in which justice sector innovation can flourish.”

Here is the book description:
This book offers you: Great examples of justice innovation - Advice on how to put your justice innovation act together - Help with creating a justice strategy for your country - Methods for improving your justice system at home, at work or in the community - Inspiration for the hard work that is needed to get it done This book is based on: 162 cumulative years of research and development in the justice sector by the team of authors - Key insights shared with us by more than 60 of the best justice innovators - Experiences with innovations from more than 50 countries - Reviews of the literature on innovation and reform in courts, legal services and law making institutions - What we learned from 70 rule of law experts who lead the Innovating Justice network and the countless projects they did in every corner of the world In this book we show that innovation in the justice sector is there. But the deep-seated traditions and rituals are much more visible. Now, more than ever, people are speaking up and acting to change that. They break rules of tradition and cure pains that have been lingering for far too long. People's future, and even their lives are at stake. An innovating justice movement can relieve the pain that will continue if courts, crime prevention and other legal services do not deliver what people need in their most difficult moments. It can make relationships between people more secure, prosperous, fair and emotionally rewarding.
One of the most interesting things about the work is both its innovation and the power of tradition as a drag on that innovation. Sitting at the center of the innovation project is the state and its judicial apparatus--something that might be a reassurance in the United States and E.U. but one which acquires an altogether different character elsewhere. This is a basic premise at the heart of a number of innovative justice related efforts, among the most important of which is the new Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights endorsed in June 2011 by the U.N. Human Rights Council.  The third pillar of that great effort, focusing on remedies, appears to set the tone efforts that follow, including HiiL's. (For discussion see Backer, Larry Catá, From Institutional Misalignment to Socially Sustainable Governance: The Guiding Principles for the Implementation of the United Nation’s 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' and the Construction of Inter-Systemic Global Governance (September 5, 2011). Pacific McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal, 2011) The Guiding Principle's It's remedial foundational Principle No. 25 focuses on the obligations of states to serve as the focal point of efforts to produce remedies tied to the structures of the domestic legal order of the remediating state. What is left to real innovation--one grounded on the obligations of organizations producing adverse consequences, including enterprises,--is ancillary to the structures and limiting presumptions of state controlled systems. The Commentary to Principle 28 makes this clear ("States can play a helpful role in raising awareness of, or otherwise facilitating access to, such options, alongside the mechanisms provided by States themselves").

Yet innovation is possible around the edges of the structures built into the institutions maintained by states through which most remedial action is meant to be undertaken.  "Innovating Justice" explores some of those avenues to its great credit. It is to those that effort that the structures of global and societally constituted justice systems might arise and provide a measure of relief especially to those at the bottom layers of institutional and social organizations.

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