Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Lean Thinking in Justice

Although, access to justice is a fundamental rule of law1 and is protected under various conventions on human rights, in reality there are lot of delays and issues with the overall judicial processes around the world. And we all know that justice delayed is justice denied! So, can anything be done differently?

This is where lean thinking could come into play.  The concept of lean thinking originated from Japanese car manufacturer Toyota and has been applied across various industries over the years.  Lean is about creating the most value for the customer while minimizing resources, time, energy, and effort2. It enables the smooth flow of the processes, while striving for continuous improvement and is in this podcast episode suggested to be applicable to the justice system to improve the existing processes.

‘’It’s the way of  handling the cases and it’s about systemic change’’, reminds Matti Tolvanen. ‘’At best lean thinking can increase the quality of the processes leading to more cases solved in a more profound way’’, recalls Ana and Matti.

With quite many apparent benefits, what has then been preventing lean thinking to find its way into our judicial processes? It is the current resistance for change, both from individuals and organisations. ‘’The law itself does not resist changes, it is the manner in how we think’’, emphasize both Ana and Matti.

Tune in to this Sustainability Unwrapped episode, to get a good grasp of how lean thinking can improve the justice system, smoothen the judicial processes and the various roadblocks currently facing it. The episode is hosted by Isabell Storsjö, doctoral student in Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility at Hanken, with guests Ana Lúcia Martins, Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing, Operation and Management at ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon and Matti Tolvanen, Professor in Criminal Law and Procedure at University of Eastern Finland.


Isabell Storjö’s introduction to the topic.

Ana Lúcia Martins contribution in this episode.

Matti Tolvanen’s contribution in this episode.

1. United Nations and the Rule of Law:

2. Lean Global Network: What is lean:

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