What is Microjustice?

Microjustice (MJ) is justice on a micro-level, taking the person and their vulnerability as the points of departure. Microjustice entails providing a person with legal protection and access to the entitlements (services/benefits/utilities) of the society in which they live. Through legal empowerment, Microjustice transforms a vulnerable person into a citizen, enabling them to exercise their rights. Microjustice4All is the methodology developed by the Dutch organization MJ4All to implement MJ.

 

Microjustice4All aims to meet basic legal needs, by providing accessible and affordable standardized legal services. People’s basic legal needs are often not met because they cannot access the system due to a lack of affordable and reliable legal services. The purpose of Microjustice4All is to develop a sustainable system of standardized legal assistance to enable these people to enjoy the same rights as the rest of the population. In this chapter we will explain the concept of Microjustice4All and the international developments that underpin our concept.

 

In order to achieve Microjustice, MJ4All focuses on non-litigious private and administrative legal matters. MJ4All offers practical, legal solutions which often takes the form of a legal document, such as correction of birth certificates, death certificates, contracts, ID, business registration, registration of social organizations, property transfer and land registration. In this way, people can protect themselves, their business and their belongings. In addition, it enables people and groups to access the benefits and entitlements in the system of their country (including access to education, healthcare, pension schemes and enfranchisement). These issues are even more important in the aftermath of a humanitarian crisis, because all the victims need to access aid schemes and need to protect their person and belongings which have been lost or damaged. MJ4All’s work is comparable to the work of solicitors in the English legal system, except that the MJ4All Methodology focuses on the basic rights of those at the bottom of the pyramid and victims of humanitarian crises.

 

Microjustice4All provides legal services which:

  1. fulfil the basic legal needs of marginalized people (e.g. internally displaced persons);
  2. can be standardized;
  3. can be offered in a sustainable way.

 

In particular, MJ4All focuses on:

  1. Civil documents: birth certificates and other documents relating to personal identity; this enables access to education, health services, social benefits, microfinance and voting;
  2. Documents relating to property and housing: property registration, documents relating to property transfer and rental issues; this provides legal protection and access to loans;
  3. Documents and issues relating to income-generating activities: setting up businesses, co-operatives and other legal entities, employment contracts and other basic labor issues;
  4. Documents and issues relating to family law and inheritance matters;
  5. Documents and issues relating to the specific geographic context, e.g. post-war/natural disasters, refugee crises and environmental issues. MJ4All services are fundamental for post-war or natural disaster rehabilitation.

 

 

 

[1] In general, we focus on non-litigious matters, but exceptionally we assist with litigation if it addresses the basic legal needs of a large group of people and the service can be standardized (see the definition of MJ4All).

 

 

 

 

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