“Innovation and Technology for Justice”
The United Nations (UN) was wise to include the rule of law so prominently on the Agenda for Sustainable Development for the international community as we look ahead to 2030. As we strengthen the rule of law, we empower nations to chart their own course, empower their leaders to act effectively in their interests and empower citizens to hold those leaders accountable. In law we can see the choices authorities have. As a record of political choices, law also provides a foundation for accountability and a visible site for a nation to change its mind.
The January 2019 TIJ International Forum is the seventh instalment of a continuing series of open discussions about regional approaches to and issues in mainstreaming the rule of law, the efficacy of these attempts and cases that embody the rule of law in action. The goal is to use the concept of the rule of law as a lens to better understand complex socio-economic issues to establish a systematic framework to inform policy development. Leading academics, experts, and policymakers will engage in dialogues and exchange views on their interpretation of the rule of law through a multitude of perspectives.
As the technologies of government, industry and civil society change, so much the law. Keynote addresses will examine the intrinsic linkages innovation and technology in strengthening the rule of law to create more just and inclusive societies, the balance between technology-driven economies and justice reforms, as well as the inextricable relations between law and technology.
A tool for both stability and change, the rule of law, rests at the heart of the sustainable development agenda. The rule of law facilitates peaceful and productive engagement between different actors across societies. Law is a crucial ally for policymakers aiming to provide public goods and services, just as it can be a vehicle for marginalized and vulnerable members of society to ensure they are not left behind. Achieving any—let alone all—of these objectives requires strategy and demands that choices be made. Law is most useful when it frames and clarifies those strategic choices.
Tackling complex development challenges such as cyber threats, structural inequalities, access to justice and corruption in an ever-evolving environment requires more than cooperative efforts of key players across national boundaries, rather it calls for greater emphasis on adopting novel solutions to unlock the full potential of the rule of law.
In doing so, it is not only crucial to harness the minds and efforts of people from all facets of society—going beyond legal professionals and law-makers—but it is also vital to leverage the forces that shape the world in the twenty-first century, particularly technological advancements and innovative policy tools, in order to strengthen the rule of law and enhance justice. Undeniably, they are central to the design, implementation and realization of the 2030 Global Goals. If used effectively, technology and innovation have the potential to facilitate and accelerate structural transformation for sustainable development.
The 2019 TIJ International Forum will include panel discussions, featuring faculty members from the network of Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School, regional and national experts, as well as TIJ Fellows from the Workshop for Emerging Leaders on the Rule of Law and Policy. These sessions will position the rule of law among salient socio-economic issues.
The first panel on “Regional Experiences” will be led by emerging leaders from the TIJ Workshop on the Rule of Law and Policy. To conclude the weeklong Workshop, this session will provide an opportunity for selected emerging leaders to present rule of law-based solutions for emerging public policy issues in different regional contexts, as well as opportunity to extract and analyze lessons learned.
The second panel on “Improving Equality and Justice through Innovation and Technology” will be led by regional experts and faculty members from the IGLP network. This discussion will explore how technological advancements and innovative policy tools could play crucial roles in reducing structural inequalities rooted in socioeconomic backgrounds, gender, education opportunities and access to redress mechanisms. Panelists will illustrate the ways in which effective design and implementation of more human-centric and digital-based solutions could improve daily lives of vulnerable and marginalized groups, in tandem with creating driving forces to overcome sustainable development challenges from the local to global level.
The third panel on “Using Technology to Respond to Criminal Challenges in a Borderless World” will be led by regional experts and faculty members from the IGLP network. This discussion will highlight how globalized economies and regions have experienced an increase in free flows of goods, along with a growing dependence on networked digital systems, products and services. This trend is wrought with a rise in both the variety and quantity of cyber challenges, which continue to infiltrate the daily lives of individuals and threaten the stability of modern institutions. In light of this, panelists will examine how concerted efforts across sectors and borders could create digital-based solutions and strong infrastructures to fight against corruption and address cyber threats.