Justice institutions play a key role for sustainable economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa. The economic downturn caused by COVID-19 has led to a decrease of revenue, resulting in budget reductions that are projected to impact justice institutions across the region.
At the same time, countries start seeing how the COVID crisis is increasing demands for justice services. Deteriorating economies generate higher caseloads for courts, especially for commercial and economic cases focused on debt collection, insolvency, employment, and family issues, as well as lawsuits in the administrative courts about denial of services and government contracts. The social fabric has weakened in many places due to the impact of COVID and tensions within societies have risen. Experts therefore anticipate even higher caseloads moving forward, at a time when the region’s court systems try to catch up on cases delayed due to COVID shutdowns. The panelists will discuss how justice institutions may adjust to a challenging scenario where they have to do more with less for some time to meet the needs of those seeking justice. This event also serves as the third event of the World Bank Justice Network for the Arab World, a peer-learning network among justice officials in MENA launched in 2021.