The OECD Policy Roundtable on Equal Access to Justice was held on 5-6 July 2018 in Riga with the aim to highlight the efforts in strengthening equal and people-focused access to justice for inclusive growth and sustainable development. It called for increased investment in access to justice, deepening the business case and supporting the national implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16 on inclusive institutions and access to justice.
The event was an opportunity to present evidence-based and innovative policy tools and criteria pertaining to people-focused access to justice and legal empowerment, and accessibility of justice services. The MDTF JSS team showcased the latest progress in understanding and measuring what works and assessing the impact, outcomes, cost-effectiveness and efficiency of legal empowerment and strengthening the capacity of all people to exercise their rights. The MDTF JSS team approach combines multiple strategies with complementary interventions to increase efficiency and maximize the societal impact to achieve legal empowerment in Serbia. The key approach concerns legal information. The MDTF JSS team in partnership with Serbian Civil Society Organizations implemented range of activities to ensure access to a legal information in a variety of formats to ensure they are appropriate and effective for different types of judicial system users. Legal empowerment tools include the Self-representation Guide, Victim’s Guide through Serbian Criminal Justice System, Guide for Exemption of Court Fees, Guide for the Exercise of Right to a Court Interpreter, Interactive Map of Free Legal Services, Interactive Map of Victim Support Services, etc. The MTDF JSS team also discussed the user-centric approach in accessing justice for business and investors, including small and medium enterprises. The MDTF JSS approach in legal empowerment and improvement of access to justice is easy to adjust and apply in different countries and environment. Several OECD member states are interested to learn from Serbian experience.