Focusing on improving legal institutions could lead to improved outcomes for the most disadvantaged, as well as greater efficiencies and even benefits to Haiti’s economy.
There are several different possible investments. One is to focus on digitizing land records. Land ownership questions – such as multiple people laying claim to ownership, or the absence of an identifiable owner – can be complex. Uncertainties over ownership can make it difficult for buyers and sellers of property, as well as the government. These problems are very complex, but one place to start could be digitizing the land record system – saving time as well as money.
Another approach could be creating a national legal aid system. Expanding on the UN-created Bureau for Legal Assistance could reduce the use of prolonged periods of preventive detention for the incarcerated.
Strengthening the Justice System: Establishing a National Legal Aid System
Providing legal aid would speed up access to justice. This would be fair, and it would save the government money. Research written by Dr. Jimmy Verne of the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation, analyzes this situation and proposes extending the coverage of the legal aid service, so it is available nationwide.