UCL Faculty of Laws


Helping define the first Sustainable Development Goal target on access to civil justice

Integrating legal needs into development planning

Globe world

Image credit: Photo by Juliana Kozoski on Unsplash 

Building on groundbreaking work by Professor Dame Hazel Genn on legal needs surveys, Professor Pascoe Pleasence and Professor Nigel Balmer (UCL Centre for Empirical Legal Studies) lent expertise with such surveys to dozens of countries, including developing and post-conflict societies with no history of such assessments.

Research on the rigour of such surveys, in collaboration with Open Society Justice Initiative and OECD, helped underpin adoption of a new Sustainable Development Goal on access to civil justice (approved by the United Nations in March 2020).

The existence of an SDG on access to civil justice will integrate this vital element of rights protection and human flourishing into global development funding and national planning.