From the Global to the Local: Leveraging International Engagement to Advance Justice at Home

“As the United States works to advance human rights around the world, we must also recognize that our task begins here at home. My administration is committed to ensuring every person is free to flourish in a society that values and defends equal justice for all.”   
President-elect Joe Biden, Twitter, December 10, 2020, 9:30am

This policy paper is authored by Maha Jweied, who served in the U.S. government between 2006-2018, most recently as the Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice. Maha is currently a fellow at CIC-NYU and advisor to the Pathfinders for Justice.

This paper sets out how the former U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice leveraged international activity and mechanisms, including the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to advance its domestic priorities. The strategy resulted in notable accomplishments and even protected a number of them after the office was closed in 2018. The brief also recommends that the incoming Biden-Harris Administration reestablish the Office for Access to Justice, revitalize the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable charged with implementing Goal 16 for the United States, link U.S. domestic priorities to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and prioritize the United States’ role as a leader in the global movement for equal justice for all.

Download the full policy paper here.

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Dec 18, 2020
Maha Jweied
United States