Around the world, courts are plagued with challenges such as congestion and a lack of access to resources. These structural issues impede citizens’ paths to justice and the development of business in a country. These challenges are present in the Philippines, where courts are in need of improved systems, enhanced technology, and legal education tools. These measures allow for increased efficiency, transparency, and accountability, and thus further inclusive economic growth. The Judicial Strengthening to Improve Court Effectiveness (JUSTICE) Project, a USAID-funded program led by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), in partnership with The Asia Foundation, sought to address these challenges. The project supported a decrease in the cost of business-related matters, as well as an increase in investor confidence in the Philippines. The JUSTICE Project made positive contributions to these goals, which led to the efficient and predictable adjudication of court cases.
Six years after the launch of the JUSTICE Project, over 100 representatives from implementing partners, the Philippines’ Supreme Court, other justice sector institutions, and the media gathered at a ceremony in Manila on December 5, 2018. The ceremony marked the achievements of the project, which is slated to conclude on December 31, 2018.
Key speakers at the event included: Alberto Mora, ABA Associate Executive Director of Global Programs; the Philippines’ Chief Justice Lucas P Bersamin (in his first public event after his appointment); Maram Talaat, USAID-Philippines acting Mission Director; Susan Cowley, ABA ROLI’s Philippines Country Director; and Sam Chittick, The Asia Foundation’s Philippines Country Director.