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The promotion of peace, justice and strong institutions as reflected in SDG 16 and its indicators are of paramount importance for the GFLJD and is a core and permanent value for all its projects and achievements. Strong legal and justice systems and institutions are internationally recognized as key drivers in development. However, the knowledge required to fully leverage this relationship is unevenly accessible to development experts, legal practitioners, policymakers and academics worldwide. The Global Forum on Law Justice and Development is created to address such constraint by providing an innovative and dynamic system of exchange and knowledge translation by connecting government, think thanks, regional and international organizations, international financial institutions, private sector and civil society organizations with relevant research and practices to improve development outcomes. The GFLJD, by paving the way for increased international collaboration among these players, will accelerate knowledge dissemination in line with the sustainable development goal of providing access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. The GFLJD provides an active framework that comprises a coherent, sustained program of collaborative research and special pilot projects by promoting a multidisciplinary approach, combining economic, legal and technical aspects of target issues. 

The Forum is based on the following essential foundations: 

  • Working groups which will identify, co-generate, share and disseminate relevant knowledge and legal “solutions” to development challenges through a multi- disciplinary approach. 
  • A continuously updated Website. 
  • The series of events 
  • An effective and dynamic Steering Committee. 


The Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development was initiated by the World Bank and a few development partners, and stemmed from feedback received during the World Bank Law, Justice and Development Week of 2010 about the need for development experts, legal practitioners, policy makers, and academics to stay connected to discuss issues on a more permanent basis and to have opportunities to co-generate innovative solutions to development challenges.

The Global Forum was officially launched during the World Bank Group Law, Justice and Development Week in November 2011, where a first group of founding Partners attended the signing ceremony of the letters of endorsement.


The Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development is a network of organizations dedicated to creating legal knowledge that promotes achievement of sustainable development goals. In order to promote the achievement of SDG 16, GFLJD’s main objective, the GFLJD will act as a collaborative, transparent, decentralized and efficient vehicle for the exchange and co-generation of legal knowledge, based on the following principles:

  • Strengthening and promoting a better understanding of the role of law and justice in sustainable development through a multi-stakeholders dialogue and collaboration;
  • Reaching the targets of better integrating the legal approach, the judicial institutions and the access to justice in the development process in order to increase development effectiveness;
  • Encouraging the co-generation of innovative legal solutions and practices to development issues;
  • Supporting knowledge dissemination sharing of legal solutions to development challenges;
  • Encouraging an inclusive partnership built upon shared principles, values and vision.

To achieve its objective, the GFLJD relies on a clear structure of governance and decision-making. Communication among Partners is built upon clarity, transparency, and trust. In establishing the Partnership’s work programs, Partners are requested to give careful attention to both results and effectiveness, as well as to the promotion of GFLJD’s values.

Due to the importance of collaboration and communication for the GFLJD, the Partners’ Membership will be terminated by the Secretariat in the event of the Partners inactivity. Inactive partners are those that do not respond to the Secretariat for an extended period of time and after repeated efforts or are never active in any Working Groups or events within the GFLJD.


The GFLJD Steering Committee

The Steering Committee “SC” is the supreme governing body of the GFLJD and is composed by the following members (“Members”)

  • Chairman of SC: World Bank Legal Vice President.
  • Members of SC:
    • World Bank Legal Vice-Presidency “WB LEGVP” member appointed by the Senior Vice President.
    • Contributors’ representatives.

In order for a Partner to become a “Contributor”, it must fulfil one of any of the following conditions:

  • Providing an annual financial contribution with no minimum amount requirement
  • Providing staff time, travel and logistics support relating to GFLJD activities/products

On an occasional basis and in accordance with the agreement of SC member’s, Partners’ representatives or technical experts may deliver fundamental information to assist the SC on the decision-making process for a specific topic.

The SC welcomes International Organizations, Multilateral development Banks and National or Regional Development Agency, which are Partners of the GFLJD, as Observers. Observers will be granted the right to speak at the Steering Committee but will have no voting rights pertaining to the decision-making process on any topic.

Steering committee members serve on the Steering Committee for a term of three years renewable.

Financial contributions may be made through the World Bank’s Eternally-Financed Output mechanism or by providing a secondment staff assigned to the GFLJD Secretariat.

Terms and conditions of specific instruments will be governed by the applicable policies and agreements, as they may be amended from time to time. Acceptance of a financial contribution by the Global Forum or one of its partners does not constitute an endorsement of the contributor or its activities/business, nor will it have an impact on any business relationship with the partners.

An alternate Steering Committee member is appointed by each Member to act in its name and on its behalf in case of absence, incapacity or impediment of that representative.

Chair of the SC

Meetings of the SC shall be chaired by the General Counsel of the World Bank Group (or designated alternate). The Chair does not participate in voting decisions by the SC, unless there is a tie. The Chair promotes commitment of Partners to the GFLJD and its work. With the support of the Secretariat she/he will also ensure that meetings are planned effectively and that they focus on Partnerships’ key issues and priorities.

The GFLJD Secretariat

The GFLJD Secretariat is housed in the World Bank, Washington DC, and is legally operating as part of the Bank. The Secretariat’s staff costs are funded by the World Bank and by all Partners that provide staff. The Secretariat is responsible for the general coordination of the Global Forum and the implementation of the Steering Committee’s policies and approved work plans and reports to the Chair of Steering Committee on the progress of activities and progress against results targets. A Program Management Team which is a sub-set of the Secretariat, reports to Bank Management in charge of the LEGVP. The staff of the Secretariat will be selected by the World Bank based on the professional profiles required for the efficient delivery of the tasks assigned to the Secretariat.


The Global Forum consists of two mutually-complementary pillars:

  • A permanent forum of intellectual partners, clustered by topics ; and
  • An ICT web-based platform, C4D.

It builds on existing informal networks and partnerships in specific thematic areas, strengthened and formalized through partners' commitment to the Global Forum Charter.

The Global Forum is an open platform. Members belong to two broad participant groups involved in the legal dimension of international development:

  • International and regional organizations such as IFIs and stakeholders;
  • National stakeholders, government and judicial authorities, academia, think tanks, civil society organizations and private sector.