In a narrow sense, Access to Justice (A2J) is a process whereby people are able to obtain legal remedies from both formal and informal institutions, but broadly, it involves the wider social context of our court system and the systemic barriers faced by different members of the community in accessing these institutions. The formal justice institutions include the Local Council courts (minor civil cases), Magistrates Grade 2 court, Magistrate Grade 1 court, Chief magistrates court, High court, Court of appeal/ Constitutional court, and Supreme court. The informal justice system on one end includes cultural /traditional institutions like parish, and village chiefs /heads, religious leaders, CSOs, and local Government administrative structures involved in arbitration in the communities.
Formal or informal justice, access to them have challenges that range from high costs, corruption tendencies, long and bureaucratic process, delays, among others, which incapacitate access to them. Comparatively, the informal justice system is more accessible, not elaborate, and less costly to citizens than the formal justice system. HURIFO will therefore focus on building the capacity of the informal justice to increase access and citizen trust in the informal justice system.
Peace and access to justice remain elusive in post-conflict and rural areas of the Acholi sub-region. Issues of transitional justice, refugees, internal land conflict-related displacements, inter & intra clans/tribal resources-based conflicts, etc. Through this HURIFO shall contribute to SDGs 16 (1, 2, 3, 8, 9 & 10).
(SO.1.1): To enhance human rights awareness, protection, and access to justice for the indigents, vulnerable, marginalized, and disadvantaged persons.
KRA1.1. Systems and practices that foster respect for human rights and peaceful resolutions of conflicts are available and easily accessible to the people of northern Uganda.
- Train and promote new and existing community-based groups (CBOs), associations, school clubs, and individuals to take charge of human rights protection and promotion in the communities.
- Carry out human rights awareness campaigns through IEC materials, radio talk shows, spot messages, publications, reports, dialogues, outreaches, training, and sensitization to empower the rights holders and duty bearers to demand their rights and discharge their responsibilities.
- Carry out mobile community legal aid clinic services
- Carry out private and public interest litigation cases on behalf of the poor and marginalized persons in the project areas
- Carry out Alternative Dispute Resolution (Mediation and Conciliation).
- Provide legal guidance, advice, psychosocial supports, and counseling to victims of human rights violations and abuses.
- Monitor, investigate, and report cases of human rights violations and abuses in the project areas.
- Carry out advocacy for human rights protection and promotion in the project areas.
(SO.1.2): To promote Conflict prevention, Peace, and harmonious Co-existence in the Community.
KRA 1.2: Awareness and understanding of human rights, existing laws and procedures of mediation, and gender equality amongst communities of different cultures and practices increased.
- Carry out documentation and reporting on inter and intra Acholi sub-regional conflicts as early warning signs of greater conflicts
- Carry out inter and intra Acholi communities’ peacebuilding & conflict resolution dialogues, sensitizations, training, and events to defuse tensions within the Acholi sub-region and with its neighbors.
- Conduct training for formal and informal authorities on conflict resolution, conflict sensitivity, human rights, and gender sensitivity
- Support local / community-driven peacebuilding and reconciliation initiatives.
- Advocate for peace, accountability, redress of human rights violations, and support vulnerable groups and individuals in pursuit of justice.