Persons in conflict with the law, victims, and others in contact with justice institutions must be treated with dignity and respect. Vulnerable and marginalised groups in detention, imprisonment or non-custodial measures especially, must be treated in line with international standards and norms on human rights.
Everybody in contact with justice systems and its institutions must enjoy respect for their human rights and freedoms.
Access to justice means that individuals have fair and equal access to the legal system and legal remedies; e.g. access to legal information, representation, and a fair trial.
In fact, procedures and practices for fair, efficient, humane and accountable justice determine the chances of us enjoying our human rights. This is why justice systems constitute a cornerstone in a society based on human rights and the rule of law.
Nearly all of the work we do has an aspect of ensuring that justice systems are fair, efficient, humane and accountable to provide access to justice for all. For more than 30 years we have worked directly with regional and national court systems, prosecuting authorities, police organisations, prison services and professional training institutions. The aim: support these institutions in using international human rights standards to a greater extent. We provide human rights education for present and future generations of justice sector officials.
We support National Human Rights Institutions, developing their capacity to more effectively promote and protect human rights. Effective NHRIs lead to greater access to justice and better protection of human rights.
Access to Justice Around the World
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Josh is Head of the Thematic Area ‘Access to Justice’.
He previously served as the Director of the RWI Regional Office in Nairobi and before that as Director of the Institute’s Office in Jakarta. Prior to working for RWI, he worked for organisations including the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights.
The Access to Justice team
Mikael Johansson holds a Master of Laws from the Faculty of Law at Lund University, with specialisation in international human rights law and international humanitarian law. He has been with the Institute since 1991 and has held several positions within the department for international programmes, including head of programmes, and has also functioned as the Institute’s advisor on Strategic Planning and Quality Assurance. He is currently the director of the Institute´s Zimbabwe Programme and Harare Office, and the Institute’s Senior Policy Adviser on Anti-Corruption and Human Rights. From September 2004 to August 2006 Mikael worked at the Embassy of Sweden in Harare, as the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency’s (Sida), Regional Adviser for Democracy and Human Rights for Southern Africa.
Mikael’s work experience covers management of institutional and human rights capacity development programmes and strategic planning and policy development related to development cooperation and human rights, including results based management and application of human rights based approaches to development. He has vast experience in the fields of administration of justice, rule of law and anti-corruption. He is the current coordinator of the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network of Institutes and he is since 2011 member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law.
Jason Naum is an international development and nonprofit organization management expert with over 20 years of experience successfully leading and strengthening the capacity of nonprofits, academic institutions, and independent state actors with a human rights mandate around the world. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, thought leadership, global philanthropy, human rights programming, capacity building, grant management and evaluation strategies for mission driven nonprofits.
Prior to RWI, Jason was the Managing Director of the Botstiber Institute, the Founding Chairman and Executive Director of LAB (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on increasing opportunities for Philadelphia’s economically disadvantaged youth), as well as the Head of the National Human Rights Institutions Unit at RWI. He holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Lund University with a specialization in international human rights and humanitarian law.
Morten Koch Andersen
Morten Koch Andersen holds a PhD in International Development Studies from Roskilde University. His research interests are in the fields of human rights documentation, rule of law practices, public authority, corruption, torture and violence, impunity and discretion, and unequal citizenship.
He specializes in the interdisciplinary study of the nexus between corruption, human rights and development, mainly in South Asia.
The key questions of his research are, the paradoxes and dilemmas in:
- The interactions between violent political organizations and their members.
- The effects on impunity on individuals, institutions, and society?
- The motivational aspects of choice making in corruption.
He has several years of experience as programme manager of development cooperation in relation to prevention of torture and rehabilitation of survivors – during and after violent conflict, and in places of detention. I have worked on institutional and legal reform, establishments of support systems, education of health and legal professionals, and of prison and police authorities. He has managed partnership collaborations in Europe, North, South and West Africa.
Currently, he advises national human rights institutes, anti-corruption institutes and universities on the relationships between corruption and human rights, and their implications for institutions, individuals and societies, in Africa, Asia and Caucasus.
He has previously been guest researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, senior researcher at the Danish Institute Against Torture. Currently, he is affiliated researcher at the Center for Global Criminology at University of Copenhagen, external lecturer in Global Studies at Roskilde University and teaches at the International Anti-Corruption Academy.
He has worked with the UNODC on the development of educational material on the nexus between human rights and corruption, and developed web-based educational material on corruption and human rights, and violent mobilization for high school education.
For further updates on his research, please refer to his Research profile:
Lyal S. Sunga
Lyal S. Sunga, is an Affiliated Professor at RWI, Visiting Professor at the American University of Rome, Italy, Visiting Professor at Strathmore University Law School in Nairobi, Kenya and RWI’s Visiting Professor at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. He is a former Head of the ‘Rule of Law’ programme at The Hague Institute for Global Justice in Netherlands and former Special Advisor on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the International Development Law Organization in Rome, Italy.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Carleton), Bachelor of Laws (Osgoode Hall Law School), Master of Laws in International Human Rights Law (Essex) and PhD in International Law (The Graduate Institute of International Studies). An internationally recognized specialist in international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law, Sunga has given presentations, university courses, lectures, training and conducted human rights technical assistance in some 55 countries.
From 1994-2001, he was Human Rights Officer at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva in which capacity he investigated facts and responsibilities relating to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda for the UN Security Council’s Commission of Experts on Rwanda, and he then backstopped the UN Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda for several years before taking up the role of Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific Team in the Special Procedures Branch. In 1998, he served as OHCHR’s representative to the Rome Conference on the Establishment of a Permanent International Criminal Court. He has dealt with mandates on human rights defenders, counter-terrorism and human rights, human rights and the administration of criminal justice, and the situation in Iran among other countries.
In 2000, he was Secretary of the Asian regional preparatory conference to the World Conference on Racism, held in Teheran. In 2007, he served as Coordinator for the UN Human Rights Council’s Group of Experts on Darfur. More recently, he has been working closely with OHCHR’s National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section as expert consultant. Over the last 25 years, he has worked or consulted with the UN Security Council, UNOHCHR, UNDP, UNDEF, UNESCO, UNU, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNODC, the ILO, EU, IDLO, Swiss Development Cooperation, as well as with National Human Rights Commissions in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, Nigeria, the Russian Federation and Uganda.
From 2001 to 2005, Sunga was Associate Professor and Director of the Masters of Laws in Human Rights, Hong Kong Faculty of Law, China, and he subsequently taught international human rights and other law courses at the Lund Faculty of Law in Sweden, in Azerbaijan for the Young Lawyers’ Union, at Peking University Law School, at Padjadjaran University Faculty of Law in Bandung, at the University of Geneva Faculty of Law, the University of Helsinki Faculty of Law, and at Carleton University (Ottawa) and McGill University (Montreal).
He is the author of Individual Responsibility in International for Serious Human Rights Violations (1992) and The Emerging System of International Criminal Law: Developments in Codification and Implementation (1997), and of some 40 book sections and law journal articles on such issues as the use of force in international relations, humanitarian intervention, truth and national reconciliation, human security, techniques of human rights monitoring, investigation and reporting, the Geneva Conventions, the ICTY, ICTR and ICC. For more information, downloadable publications and media appearances, visit his website.
Regional Africa Programme. Focal Point: African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), East African Community (EAC)
Damaris has worked at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute since 2015 as the Kenya Programme Officer and is responsible for planning, implementation and follow-up of cooperation projects in Kenya so as to achieve expected results.
Karol is currently working as an Associate Professor of Law at Lund University in Sweden. He is currently the course director of the course Human Rights in practice in collaboration with RWI.
Prior to his current positions, Karol worked as a researcher for RWI and as a lecturer for Gothenburg University focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on matters concerning the right to a fair trial.
Karol also has wide-ranging experience of regulatory impact assessment in the field of human rights law, procedural law and constitutional law. He has been a partner in two FP-7 funded projects, DETECTER and SURVEILLE and has worked extensively on various projects in multiple countries.
Brian Burdekin is currently Visiting Professor at the Institute, teaches in the post-graduate programme at Melbourne University Law School, and is International Adviser to a number of National Human Rights Institutions in Africa, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. From 1995 to 2003, he was Special Adviser on National Institutions to the first three United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights. Prior to taking up his appointment with the United Nations, Professor Burdekin was, from 1986 to 1994, the Federal Human Rights Commissioner of Australia. In 1995 Professor Burdekin was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to human rights, both in Australia and in other countries.