A Cultural Relations Approach to Justice, Law and Security

Strengthening the rule of law, ensuring access to justice and addressing and resolving conflict are fundamental to human security and the development of stable states where all citizens’ voices can be heard and economic opportunities realised.

Our history and status put us in a unique position to be able to understand across a wide range of contexts, the needs, motivations and cultures of public servants, civil society and the private sector, all of whom play a part in negotiating and shaping the way in which justice is administered and experienced in different countries and jurisdictions.

Within our broad understanding of the rule of law, we have particular expertise in bottom-up approaches that allow citizens to have direct access to the formal justice system at the appropriate level. In all of the above, we aim to increase the participation of people in local decision-making, while taking care not to reconfigure local structures or create advantages for some local groups that imposes them over others.

Access to justice

Access to justice programmes, particularly in the developing world, until recently have tended to focus on governance, the criminal and civil justice systems and the role of justice in the prevention of conflict. There is a growing focus now on the importance of the rule of law for economic development, which can relate to anti-corruption measures, labour law, commercial and business law, as well as the systemic conditions necessary for effective participation in the global economy. Our work has included extensive support to major anti-corruption agencies, the revision and reform of outdated laws that stifled business development and extensive work on alternative dispute resolution (ADR), particularly for commercial cases.

We do all of this by combining local knowledge, global insights and the experience of policy makers, professionals and practitioners worldwide, alongside UK expertise and commitment to delivering lasting change and a safer and more prosperous world.

Find out more about the impact our work is having in Access to Justice and across our other international development sectors.

Programmes in Nigeria

Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN), the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) and Agents for Citizen-driven transformation (ACT) are EU-funded programmes run by the British Council. 

They support people in Nigeria by enhancing good governance, curbing corruption and improving conflict management. We are implementing these programmes with communities across the country, including those in fragile, conflict-affected areas. 

Find out about more about this work and, most importantly, its real impact in improving the lives of Nigerians on our Justice, conflict and security in Nigeria website. 

See also

External links