Saturday, 25th February 2017

Goals for Justice

Sustainable Development Goals

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MAKING THE RULE OF LAW THE BEDROCK OF DEVELOPMENT

The following three paragraphs are taken from the International Development Law Organisation's website (click on the above title to visit):

In many parts of the world, the past year has been marked by flagrant disregard for the rule of law – from mass killings of civilians and deliberate displays of cruelty to horrific violence and discrimination against women and girls, unfair trials and gross miscarriages of justice. Widespread corruption robbed citizens of resources, agency and dignity. Weak and failing institutions showed scant respect for rights and justice. Where rights were violated and justice denied, insecurity and poverty flourished. Tens of millions were forced to abandon their homes and seek shelter elsewhere, in lands often unprepared or unwilling to welcome them. Lives were lost, destinies thwarted, opportunities missed. 

But 2015 could also be a watershed in the world's collective endeavour to address these ills. The longstanding pursuits of peace and justice have been given detailed expression in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, adopted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. This is one of 17 Goals, which together form what has become known as the 2030 Agenda -- a comprehensive attempt to redefine and enshrine development, in its multiple dimensions, for the next 15 years. Engaging rich and poor countries alike, the 2030 Agenda sets out to break the overarching concept of development into quantifiable objectives. 

Goal 16 is remarkable in that it puts the rule of law squarely at the heart of development -- no longer an optional extra, but the very stuff without which no development can be sustained. It lays strong emphasis on access to justice, on the quality and inclusivity of institutions, and on the necessity of a legal identity for all. In doing so, Goal 16 underscores the legal dimension of development, rather than merely its economic one. Goal 16, in other words, speaks the language of rights. But so do -- and herein lies the 2030 Agenda's transformative potential -- all of the other goals. Whether the focus is on health, on equality for women and girls, or on the discriminatory effects of climate change, the law is recognized either as essential or as a key contributor. The rule of law thus becomes the underlying philosophy of the entire document, and the achievement of it a central quest of our time. 

Sustainable Development Goals as defined in Transforming Our World - the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

TARGETS

  • 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere

  • 16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children

  • 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all

  • 16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime

  • 16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

  • 16.8 Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance

  • 16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration

  • 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

  • 16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime

  • 16.b Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 10: "Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him."

 

 

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