A meeting place for the voices of the legal profession as a force for sustainable development

The Compact and Forum

Our full name reveals much about what we are trying to achieve: The Law Societies’ Compact and Forum for SDG 16. We bring together law societies and bars from across the world to achieve two key priorities of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 16: the rule of law and access to justice.

There are many groups active in promoting the rule of law and access to justice, at the inter-governmental, international, national and local levels. The proliferation of institutions risks duplication of effort and valuable initiatives failing to reach their full potential. The Compact and Forum will convene, connect, co-ordinate and amplify the professional voice of lawyers across the globe and consolidate and expand the efforts of these existing initiatives, using the agency of law societies.

Four key activities

First, by signing the Compact, law societies make a commitment to promoting the rule of law and improving access to justice as a tool of sustainable development.

Second, the Compact and Forum brings lawyers together at meetings and conferences, forging a connection between law societies to draw attention to failures in the rule of law.

Third, the Compact and Forum acts as a medium for disseminating knowledge and setting standards with respect to how law societies can develop better governance for their own organisations, as well as committing to developing initiatives within their countries for improving access to justice.

Finally, the Compact and Forum acts as a centralised co-ordination function for the implementation of many existing excellent initiatives in the field of rule of law and access to justice through its Working Groups.

Hosted by the World Bank’s Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development (GFLJD)

The Compact and Forum serves as a sister organisation to the World Bank’s GFLJD, which connects governments, think-tanks, regional and international organisations, International Financial Institutions, private sector, and civil society organizations with relevant research and practice to improve development outcomes.