Peace & Justice Network (PJN) is a national rule of law civil society network consist of 44 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working across Pakistan (in all provinces and territories, including GB and AJK). Our work focuses on building peace and justice, as envisaged by Goal 16 of the SDGs. On the one hand we provide community legal services to empower the poor and vulnerable, raise their awareness and facilitate their access to justice sector institutions. On the other hand we also strive for demand-driven reform of these institutions to strengthen the rule of law. Our core strength is our ability to provide upstream policy advice based on ground realities which can help improve the delivery if justice sector services that reflect the needs and priorities of citizens, especially those who are vulnerable.
The legal system of Pakistan is marred with the fallibility of the laws and policies to inadequate enforcement mechanisms. It is essential to constantly revisit polices and laws to keep up with the changing social demands. All these issues need to be intellectually solved through meaningful research in the field of law to strengthen the social contract between state and citizens and lessen the human sufferings.
Realizing this imminent need, PJN aims to launch first-of-its-kind Center for Legal Excellence & Research (CLER) to promote the culture of legal research and inquiry amongst the law graduates, professionals and policy makers. The research unit, operated by PJN provides a web based interactive platform to law students and practitioners to cross-share ideas and gain access to new and emerging academic investigations undertaken to expand the intellectual horizons of the laws. The unit solicits accepted and accredited researches completed by students in their final year of degree
CLER not only serves as platform of legal researches but will also encourage students to take keen interest in the research beyond the mandatory degree requirement. Moreover, students enrolled in law schools all around the country can access the new information material to complete academic assignments and coursework. CLER will also publish the top researches in an electronic quarterly newsletter to be shared with national and international Universities, bar associations, NGOs/CSOs, law enforcement departments, ombudsman, judiciary.
Creating and sharing knowledge is fundamental for the growth of economy and society. We believe that Pakistan can only be successful in achieving its national goals when the relationship between evidence-based research and action is fully developed. Our vision is for research to lead economic, social and environmental development. PJN proposes a National Research Strategy, geared towards law and justice reform, to set a clear direction to strengthening research and creation of knowledge for effective Rule of Law in Pakistan. This strategy will focus on building research capabilities including the quality of research, along with strong, effective linkages with policy makers, government institutions and other stakeholders to ensure pursuance of national goals does not remain an illusion.
PJN envisions quality research as a sound basis for social inclusion, effective governance and access to justice. For this purpose, the key leaders in research, such as leading think tanks, universities, academics and practitioners must be engaged in a consultative process to generate debate and engage various sectors on significant research and knowledge sharing. In particular, we advocate for the significant contribution of universities – having some of the best brains which are national assets – to lead the pursuit of quality research and innovation. The proposed framework for a National Research Strategy is illustrated in the figure below:
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