GOJUST Gets Fresh P1B EU Funding To Improve Access To Justice For Filipinos

December 07, 2021

News & Lifestyle section of Dad On The Move Family Travel Blog.

The second phase of the Justice Sector Reform Programme: Governance in Justice (GOJUST), an important project of the European Union (EU) and the Philippine Government, was recently set in motion. For many of us who are not yet familiar with it, GOJUST is a program that aims to improve access to justice for Filipinos, especially those who are marginalized. This is definitely positive news that is worth sharing.

GOJUST second phase launch

GOJUST Gets Fresh P1B EU Funding To Improve Access To Justice For Filipinos

    Fresh funding for GOJUST

    Coinciding with the launch of the second phase of GOJUST was the turnover of fresh funds from EU amounting to P1.1 Billion (Euro 19 million). The money will be used to support the current programs of the Philippine Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior and Local

    The said projects are all directed to improving access to justice for all Filipinos and strengthening the Commission on Human Rights thus, contributing to inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development.

    Further strengthening the partnership with EU

    The launch of GOJUST happened last November 25, 2021, with a keynote address by the Chief Justice of the Philippines, Alexander G. Gesmundo.

    Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo GOJUST launch

    There were also messages from the Secretary of the Department of Justice, Menardo I. Guevarra, Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Eduardo M. Año, and EU Ambassador Luc Véron.

    “The European Union has been a committed partner to the Philippine’s Justice Sector reform since 2006. Our engagement stems from the importance we attach to democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Also, by working with the Philippines on improving access to justice, in particular for vulnerable communities, we can improve access to all other civil, political, economic and social rights.”

    EU Ambassador Luc Veron GOJUST launch

    “We are honored to accompany the justice sector reform efforts with GOJUST II, which has been developed in close partnership with the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Interior and Local Government, and will be our largest investment in this area to date,” said EU Ambassador Luc Véron.

    "It will be a partnership that once more will deliver dividends where it counts most – in making justice, human rights, and the rule of law not only well-entrenched and enduring institutions in Philippine society but also a felt reality in the everyday life of every Filipino," said Secretary of the Department of Justice, Menardo I. Guevarra.

    “Composed of the DOJ, the DILG, and the Supreme Court, the JSCC is both a venue and a mechanism for communication, principled cooperation, and studied coordination without sacrificing institutional independence. Through the JSCC, the coordinated approach to delivering justice is the chosen platform to achieve real-time satisfaction of justice needs," said Chief Justice of the Philippines, Alexander G. Gesmundo.

    “We at the Department of the Interior and Local Government are honored and grateful to work again with the distinguished vanguards of justice in pursuing wider paths of improving access to justice for all Filipinos,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.

    “The launching of the Justice Sector Reform Programme: Governance in Justice II or GOJUST II presents us all a greater opportunity not only to come up with reforms and timely initiatives in the delivery of justice but also to expand the reach and fortify the foundations of what we have started to work on in the past four and a half years,” he added.

    Justice at the grassroots level

    The DILG recognizes that many issues that involve justice and justice delivery begin in local communities.

    DILG Secretary Eduardo Año GOJUST launch

    As such, Secretary Año vowed that the DILG and its attached agencies will work closely with the justice sector and other stakeholders to bring about much-needed reforms to give rise to a fairer, more effective, efficient, and accountable justice, especially at the local and grassroots levels.

    “While we recognize that our work may not completely reform the justice system overnight, it will certainly lock in some basic principles and lay concrete steps that we firmly believe are going to make a fairer and more just society over the long term,” the Secretary said.

    How GOJUST supports local justice delivery

    GOJUST will support the development of more responsive and accountable justice services in the Philippines. 

    It will contribute to reducing case backlogs with the automation of courts and prosecution offices among other innovations; support the coordination of justice sector agencies at the national and local level (Justice Zones); and foster the use of research in the design and management of the justice sector policies.

    To improve access to justice – with a focus on those most vulnerable, including women, LGBTI, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and other excluded groups – the program includes a grant mechanism.

    Funds will be awarded to civil society organizations and law schools with the best initiatives on rights awareness, paralegal training, policy advocacy and direct legal services, and the strengthening of the Barangay Justice System and informal justice providers.

    In line with the findings of the Gender and Social Inclusion Assessment (GESI), this new phase of GOJUST will support justice sector agencies in addressing gender inequalities in access to justice. For example, the program will contribute to combating violence against women and girls by increasing the barangays’ capacity to issue protection orders as mandated by the law.

    The first phase of GOJUST ran from 2016 to 2020.


    GOJUST is implemented through technical assistance by the British Council and logistical and grant management support from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). 

    The support for the Commission on Human Rights under GOJUST is implemented by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

    GOJUST second phase EU funding
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