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Actioning the Human Rights Agenda and Issues of Access to Justice

  • Watson, Danielle
  • Berg, Julie
  • Laponi, Lamese
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive


Increased international attention and subscription to human rights agendas have resulted in expanded attempts by states to improve conditions for all citizens within their respective jurisdictions. One area of primary focus has been improving access to justice, primarily for persons identified as vulnerable. Despite recognition of the importance of actioning the human rights agenda and acknowledgement of the need to strengthen the justice apparatus, many countries struggle to address and prevent human rights violations. In instances where human rights violations present in longstanding and accepted local practices, actioning the human rights agenda becomes a problematic and strongly resisted process, which often translates to the establishment of well written state legislation and policy documents that have neither relevance nor uptake at local levels. In this chapter, we draw attention to current trends in ‘access to justice’ discourses and problematise the use of standardised one-size-fits-all success measures noncognizant of context or local realities. Our goal is to provoke an expansion of criminological discussions about access to justice where further consideration is given to peripheral understandings of ‘access’ and ‘justice’, specifically where such understandings perpetuate practices in direct violations of individual human rights.

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