Global Geneva Forum on indigenous, traditional & customary justice

On 2-3 December 2020, the ICJ will convene the 11th annual Geneva Forum of Judges & Lawyers, on the Role of Indigenous and other Traditional or Customary Justice Systems in Access to Justice, the Rule of Law and Human Rights.

The Geneva Forum of Judges and Lawyers is an annual global meeting of senior judges, lawyers, prosecutors and other legal and United Nations experts, convened by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) through its Geneva-based Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

The 8th Forum, in 2017, the 9th Forum in 2018 in Bangkok, and the 10th Forum in 2020 in Nairobi, considered the role of indigenous and other traditional or customary justice systems at the global level, as well as in the particular regional contexts of Asia and Africa.

Interim findings and recommendations were set out in the reports from the 8th, 9th and 10th Fora. The September 2019 report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples following her participation in the 9th Forum addressed indigenous justice..

As a reference for the Forum discussions and to assist the broader range of stakeholders, the ICJ published, and has subsequently updated, a Compilation of International Sources on Indigenous and other Traditional or Customary Justice Systems, including relevant provisions of global and regional treaties, UN and other inter-governmental declarations, and the jurisprudence and recommendations of expert Committees and Special Procedures established by treaties and the UN Human Rights Council.

The culmination of the Geneva Forum process on indigenous and other traditional or customary justice systems will be the 11th Geneva Forum on 2 and 3 December 2020, followed by publication by ICJ of a final set of global recommendations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 11th Geneva Forum will be convened online, with participants from around the world.

Participation in the Forum is by invitation only and the Forum discussions will not be broadcast.

The concept note for the Forum may be downloaded here (PDF): GF2020 Concept Note 27-10-2020

The programme for the Forum may be downloaded here (PDF): GF2020 Programme 21-10-2020

The list of participants (subject to final confirmation) can be downloaded here (PDF): Public list of Participants_2020 ICJ Geneva Forum

For more information contact matt.pollard(a)

The 2020 Geneva Forum of Judges & Lawyers is made possible by the support of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland.

Photo: Traditional leaders preside over a case in B-Court, Nyang Payam, Torit County, South Sudan.  Photo Credit: UNDP South Sudan\2016\Angelique Reid ©2016 United Nations