Rule of law

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Catalyzing Rights and Rule of law

Relevant sources: ICCPR Arts. 6-7, 9-11, 14-15, 17, 19(2); CAT Arts. 2, 4, 7(3), 12-14, 16; CEDAW Art. 15; ICPPED Arts. 11, 17(2)(f); CRC Arts. 3(1), 6(1), 12(2), 13, 19(2), 37, 40; CRPD Arts. 5(1)-(2), 10, 12-15, 21; ICERD Arts. 5(a)-(b), (d)(viii); ICRMW Arts. 9-10, 13(2), 16-18, 20, 22(4); UDHR Arts. 3, 6-11, 19

Core elements of the guarantee during the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Guarantee “access to justice and a functioning, independent judiciary that is accessible to the people” including through “[a]dditional budgetary resources” (UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers)
  • Consider the “[a]dministration of justice” to be “an essential public service” and consider “its personnel . . . as essential personnel . . . including in the context of vaccination” (UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers)
  • Ensure that if judicial services are to be suspended, “subject” this process “to strict scrutiny” and ensure that “[a]ny restrictions on judicial activity . . .  abide by the principles of legality and proportionality” and that they are “necessary for the common good in a democratic society” (UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers)
  • Take “steps to prioritize criminal situations that have increased exponentially during the pandemic” including “gender-based violence, domestic violence and corruption,” including by “strengthen[ing[ means of prevention and care for victims of domestic violence and gender-based violence” (UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers)
  • Address “[r]estrictions on access to justice . . . to prevent the marginalization of the most disadvantaged social groups” (UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers)
  • Act in a “prompt and sustained” way “to close the digital divide that affects access to justice and generates exclusion” (UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers)
  • Ensure “real and effective access to justice” including “by guaranteeing connectivity and the availability of the necessary software and equipment, as well as adequate training” and consider “developing accessible and differentiated information materials for vulnerable groups” (UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers)
  • Ensure that technologies “used in providing judicial services . . . respect . . . privacy, confidentiality and security of the information transmitted” (UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers)
  • Take steps “to adopt public policies that ensure the independence and effective functioning of justice systems and that facilitate people’s access to justice with a gender perspective and with respect for human rights” (UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers)

Further guidance can be found here: UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; OECD; UNDP; UNODC; ACHPR; COE: CEPEJ Declaration, Consultative Council, Justice in Lockdown; IACHR; IACHR and UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; OSCE

Show me of advances during COVID-19

Showing 9 matching measures.

Rule of law

Measure Country
United States v. Allen, 34 F. 4th 789 (9th Cir. 2022) United States

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reviewed a district court decision that, “at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, prohibited members of the public from attending…

COVID-19 Contract Information Canada

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)’s website “disclos[es] supplier names and contract values for contracts that it has entered into on behalf of other government departments and agencies for PPE…

e-Litigation Platform- to Ensure Uninterrupted Access to Justice Bhutan

Bhutan’s judiciary launched an “e-Litigation platform” in order “enable virtual hearing of cases” for the purpose of “ensur[ing] uninterrupted access to justice particularly for remote, far-flung communities during and beyond…

Project Agreement for COVID-19 Legal Assistance Funding Australia

An agreement was made between “the Commonwealth of Australia” and “the States of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory” to…

Fighting Corruption during COVID-19 South Africa

In July 2020, President Ramaphosa “announced the establishment of a collaborative and coordinating centre to strengthen the collective efforts among law enforcement agencies so as to prevent, detect, investigate and…

KPK Issues a Circular for Strengthening the Commitment to COVID-19 Handling Fund Supervision Indonesia

As part of its “commitment to the supervision of fund allocated for handling Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) “issue[d] [a] Circular Letter . . ….

(Secretariat of) Civil Service Maintains Vigilance Over Public Purchases and Reception of Complaints During the Contingency of Covid-19 (Función Pública Mantiene Vigilancia Sobre Compras Públicas y Recepción de Denuncias Durante Contingencia por COVID-19) Mexico

The Secretariat of Civil Service announced that “Internal Control Bodies” in the Federal Public Administration will continue “preventive monitoring” with respect to the “processes of public procurement of medicines and…

COVID-19 Response Updates Ireland

The Courts Service of Ireland’s dedicated website on “COVID-19 Response Updates” contains information, updated on a regular basis, about measures taken in relation to the court system during the COVID-19…

Pandemic Response Accountability Committee United States

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) was allocated $80,000,000 in the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” also known as “the CARES Act’’ to “promote transparency and support oversight…

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