Rule of Law and Access to Justice Practitioners

Rule of Law, Democracy & Human Rights

Course Overview

Respect for the rule of law and the ideals of fair and accessible justice systems are taking root in Africa. Capable
and accountable law and justice delivery institutions and governments that adhere to the rule of law are important to political, social and economic development. Legal and judicial systems are centrally placed to prevent abuse of power and arbitrary decision-making.
Apart from being relevant in promoting democracy and human rights, more accountable legal and justice systems, contribute to the overall wellbeing of society and individuals as well as the equal distribution of opportunities. They are essential for creating conditions conducive for national and regional peace and security. Rule of law and justice are indeed both processes and outcomes of inclusive, accountable and democratic states

Course Objectives

  • Raise awareness of the different types of barriers to access to justice regarding legal aid and victim redress.
  • Provide a valuable tool for lawyers, practitioners, civil society organisations and others who are engaged in reform processes, to ensure that rights are enjoyed in practice, rather than existing solely on paper.
  • Provide a basis for further discussion and research into how the legal community, working with civil society and governments, can be involved in maintaining or improving access to justice in the criminal sector, especially in times of austerity
  • Increased understanding of factors in the political economical context that influence performance of state and local institutions;

Course Outline

Introduction to Justice and the rule of law ideal

  • The rule of law ideal
  • What is Meant by Rule of Law Reform?
  • The Rationales for Rule of Law Reform
  • The Actors in Rule of Law Reform
  • The Evolution of International Policy Frameworks

Rule of Law in Post-Conflict Countries

  • Human Security and Law and Order
  • Property and Commercial Disputes, and Economic Regulation
  • Human Rights and Transitional Justice
  • Predictable and Effective Government Bound by Law
  • Access to Justice and Equality before the Law

Legal and institutional framework

  • Compliance with international (human rights) obligations
  • The constitution and international human rights standards
  • The structure of the court system
  • Law reform
  • Recommendations

Government respect for the rule of law

  • The executive and respect for the rule of law
  • Parliament and respect for the rule of law
  • Recommendations

Management of the justice system

  • Strategic planning
  • Financial management
  • Court administration
  • Access to information about the law and the courts

Criminal justice

  • Protection from crime
  • The politics of policing
  • The Attorney General and prosecutions
  • Non-state action against crime
  • Fair trial
  • Appropriate remedies and sentencing
  • Prisons

Access to justice

  • Knowledge of rights
  • Physical access
  • Financial access
  • Right to appear: Jurisdictional restrictions
  • Reasonable delay
  • Mechanisms to assert rights outside the court system
  • Traditional and other non-state justice systems

The role of development partner

  • An overview of development assistance to the justice sector
  • Transparency and accountability in development assistance
  • The procurement regime
  • Human rights and development assistance
Study Online


1 Week Face to Face Classes


2 Week Face to Face Classes


Course Features
  • 8 Weeks Online
  • 1-2 Weeks Classes
  • Certified

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