The project supports access to the formal justice sector in the Solomon Islands caused by a lack of physical access, community awareness and due to the costs borne by both individuals in accessing services and by government in supplying a sufficient quantity and quality of service delivery to the Provinces.
The lack of access particularly impacts vulnerable groups including people with disabilities, women and victims of violence in remote and rural areas who are the least able to vindicate their rights. Lack of access leads to disaffection with the justice system and inefficient use of resources spent on dealing with large problems rather than dealing with and preventing smaller problems at a local level.
The project consists of three mutually enforcing components. First, the need to provide access to justice to communities that due to government resource constraints, remoteness or the cost of transport are not served by the formal justice system. Second, the need to enhance the reach, depth, service delivery and effectiveness of the lawyers of the Public Solicitor’s Office, the key demand side justice institution in the Solomon Islands. Finally, a prerequisite to meeting the above is the need to have strong sustainable direction in the Public Solicitor’s Office into the medium term.
The interventions undertaken under this Project will focus on addressing access, awareness and cost, noting that the cost to individuals and institutions is deeply intertwined with challenges around both access and awareness.
The project works with the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs and the Public Solicitor’s Office as the key justice institution entry point for access to justice and which will be strengthened under this project.