MJ4All was established in 1996 under the name of International Alliances, and began its work in the Former Yugoslavia. Its mission then was the legal rehabilitation of victims of conflict. The remit of MJ4All has since grown but this continues to be a key part of its mission. The name was changed to International Legal Alliances in 2004 and then to Microjustice4All in 2012.
Between 1997 and 2005, MJ4All conducted large scale legal rehabilitation programs in the former Yugoslavia. Smaller legal rehabilitation programs in the former Yugoslavia are still ongoing. During this period, MJ4All also undertook assessment missions for legal rehabilitation in Sudan, Colombia, Iraq, Georgia and South Sudan. These assessments showed that settling the legal issues of displaced populations (in large part related to legal paperwork) is crucial for successful post-disaster rehabilitation. Local groups and government institutions showed great interest in working on these legal issues.
In order to promote legal rehabilitation on the international development agenda, MJ4All organized a round-table meeting in Madrid in 2006 in co-operation with MPDL (Movimiento por la Paz), the Spanish Government (AECID) and the Dutch Embassy. Following up from this meeting, two publications were produced. As a result, the concept of Microjustice was born, based on the model of Microfinance and tying into the international concepts of ‘legal empowerment of the poor’ and ‘the responsibility to protect’.
The concept of Microjustice was tested and developed in Bolivia in 2007. The aim was to develop and refine MJ4All methods by learning from the experience in Bolivia. This would then provide a basis from which MJ4All could expand across the world. The successful pilot resulted in an innovative methodology and instruments for rights-based inclusive development. The successes in Bolivia were used to establish MJ4All Country Organizations across the globe. Together, these MJ4All Country Organizations form the MJ4All International Network that is co-ordinated by MJ4All in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Experiences of MJ4All Country Organizations have been used to produce the MJ4All Handbook and the MJ4All Toolkit, which provide guidance, tools and instruments for replication of the MJ4All Methodology worldwide.