Legal Empowerment of the Poor: Innovating Access to Justice
Maaike S. De Langen
United Nations - Development Programme (UNDP)
Tilburg Law School; HiiL Innovating Justice
March 8, 2009
THE STATE OF ACCESS: SUCCESS AND FAILURE OF DEMOCRACIES TO CREATE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES, Gowher Rizvi and Jorrit de Jong, eds., pp. 250-271, Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2009
In this essay, we begin with some general observations on the state of access to justice. Because access to justice is hard to measure and data on such access are scarce, we give a description of the barrieres to justice and mechanisms of exclusion and analyze how these work out for the poor in developing countries. Next we describe various strategies to improve access to justice, focusing on the innovative bottom-up approaches highlighted by the UN Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor. We then discuss the agenda for access to justice in terms of what we know and what we do not know yet. We conclude by stressing the need for an innovative approach to the delivery of justice: combining insights from academic research, smart innovation processes, sustainable "business models", and know-how from practical experiences.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 9, 2009
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